Club Penguin Returns


Michelle Nguyen

Club Penguin has risen from the grave.

In the darkest of times, our childhood has risen up from the ashes.

On April 1, the world rejoiced for the first time in a long time, as the monumentally popular online game, Club Penguin, made a triumphant return.

Under the name Club Penguin Online, players can log on and relive the good old days of their youth, a time free of standardized testing and weighted classes, a time where we were worrying about getting to the playground instead of getting into college.

While it’s not an official Club Penguin, it is nearly identical to the game that captured our hearts, and our wallets, for so many years. 

Released in 2005, the original Club Penguin became a national phenomenon, boasting more than 11 million users in just two years, and making more than $40 million annually. At its peak, Club Penguin was said to have around 200 million users, which ain’t too shabby.

But in what turned out to be the worst thing to happen to the little game turned huge, everyone’s favorite, lovable company, Disney, bought the game in 2007 for the bargain price of $350 million, which seemed to be how much Disney would charge people for a Club Penguin membership.

Yes, for those who played back in the grand old years of 2009 to 2013, we can all remember the soul crushing addition of memberships. All of our favorite things, the cute rainbow puffles, cool unique igloos, flexing the drip with sunglasses and hats for your penguin, were locked away behind the cold, dreary cage that is Disney’s endless thirst for profit. Luckily, we could rescue our love for Club Penguin, for just $7.95 a month. What a steal.

But right now, people who sign up for Club Penguin online can play with a free membership, having access to everything in the game, and can stick it to our Disney overlords. Take that Disney and your $194 billion. 

When it first came out, I thought it was just an April Fools joke. A prank meant to remind us that there’s no hope in this world and that maybe the apocalypse in 2012 would have been an appealing alternative to the one we seem to be in now. 

But when I looked back the next day, it was still there. Could it be? Could our dreams really be coming true? 

When I opened the website to try it out, I had to create a new account because, sadly, you can’t get your old account back. If anyone goes online, add me at Swegicorn01. 

Speaking of logging in, it does take a while. After six million people signing up in less than a week, the servers have been having a difficult time. But trust me, you’ll get in eventually.

 And when I finally did get in, years of memories flooded back to me. I almost shed a tear. Almost. Not quite. 

Everything from the original game was there. The igloos, the lighthouse, the dojo, and, of course, the iceberg.

When I initially logged in, the first thing I did was go buy a puffle, those adorable little fuzz balls. How I’ve missed them.  My yellow friend DIO and I will be going on many expeditions.

Afterwards, I tried my hand at the card-jitsu dojo, probably my favorite part about the game growing up, and it was all still there. The normal, fire, water, snow, all the types. I even won my first game back. I guess I just get better with age. 

After an hour back, or two, or three, or six, I won’t disclose just how much time I spent on it, I felt like a kid again. I was free of worry, free of anxiety, and free of paying attention to the other people in my house. Saying I was playing Club Penguin for newspaper reasons was not something I thought I would ever say in my life.

Does the game feel a bit less genuine because it’s not the official one? Yes. Did that stop me from having one of my best times in a while, at a time where COVID-19 has taken all my motivation and hope? Hells to the no.

So for those who want a lift, hop on. Get yourself a puffle, and let the memories and nostalgia flow. Until Disney buys this one too.