ORLANDO, FL – On Monday, January 30, Disney announced that their popular children’s MMORPG, Club Penguin, will shut down on March 29. The blog post, written by a staff member with the pseudonym “Megg”, states:
As you know, over the past few years, we’ve been hard at work developing an entirely new Club Penguin experience for mobile. With this next chapter, we will be launching an amazing new product, Club Penguin Island, that offers a uniquely penguin experience, with new features and gameplay, making it more fun than ever.
As part of the launch of Club Penguin Island in March, we will be transitioning to an entirely new platform, and, we’ve made the decision to discontinue the current Club Penguin game on desktop and mobile devices on March 29, 2017.
However, an anonymous American Tribune staff member spoke with Megg regarding the shutdown. After discussing the impact of Russian hackers on the election, Megg confessed that Club Penguin was being constantly hacked and blackmailed.
“We have had thousands of complaints from parents about their child’s account being hacked. We first told the parents to check their computers for any third-party apps that use Club Penguin login, as those third-party apps may send their account credentials elsewhere,” Megg told the Tribune. “Yet no third-party apps were found. After hacking the accounts, these hackers would consistently send messages like ‘Build the wall’ and ‘Make America Great Again’. One parent complained that their child’s account got banned for saying ‘go back to your country w*tback’.”
The security team then traced the origins of the hack to Russia. After Disney reported the incidents to law enforcement, they received thousands of emails threatening to shut down the game and the mobile app. In order to preserve the mobile app, Club Penguin finally gave in and decided to shut down.