Media & Services > TV & Broadband Blog

Club Penguin waddles into Disney’s fold

by User Not Found | 8月 02, 2007

Social networking is not just about the teenagers on Myspace and Facebook. Younger children are spending hours in online worlds like Club Penguin, as I can testify from personal experience. Club Penguin was set up by Canadian company New Horizon Interactive in 2005, and has just been acquired by Disney for $350m. It has 12 million activated users, 700,000 of which pay nearly $60 a year for the premium service (my daughter, or rather her parents, being one of them) - that's $50m in revenues from a measly kids' game site. Club Penguin is terrific. If I was nine years old again I don't see how Lego or Subbuteo would get a look-in. It can be nerve-wracking for adults to imagine that younger children are interacting in real time with other real people, but, inevitably, they think nothing of it, and happily explore the cartoon landscape making "friends" at the drop of a hat. One can only wonder at how the social skills of tomorrow's adults are changing relative to those of previous generations. Disney recognises Club Penguin as a safe-kid zone, and I've seen nothing in the game to dispute that. It's something many concerned parents are prepared to pay for, dreading the time when penguins become babyish and Facebook, or whatever next year's hot site is, takes over their children's lives. Add to Technorati Favorites
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