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News - Disney shuts down Club Penguin Island, lays off developers

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Disney shuts down Club Penguin Island, lays off developers

Though Club Penguin was shut down in 2017, its mobile successor, Club Penguin Island, has been striving to take the place of the once-popular children’s online RPG. 

Now however, Club Penguin is coming to an end once again. Disney Canada, the studio behind Club Penguin Island, has announced that the game will be shutting down, and per a report on Kotaku, dozens of employees at the Kelowna, British Columbia studio are due to lose their jobs. 

A letter from Disney HR obtained by Kotaku blames the shutdown on “global competition,” and states that a need to reduce costs is partly what is driving the layoffs. Employees are apparently receiving roughly five weeks of severance and benefits. 

Kotaku also spoke with multiple employees who felt blindsided since they were under the impression that new projects were coming into the studio. They also lamented that with Disney Canada’s layoffs, they’d likely have to move their families to find new work in video games. “There aren’t many opportunities in a city like Kelowna, so most of us will have to move our families if we want to pursue games,” said one employee. 

If you have been impacted by these layoffs, you can e-mail Gamasutra and share your story anonymously. 

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