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  1. #1
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    Default Disney Acquires Club Penguin for $350M

    Disney Acquires Club Penguin for $350M



    By ANICK JESDANUN
    Associated Press
    8/1/07

    NEW YORK - The Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday it has bought the popular online kids hangout Club Penguin for $350 million, adding to its portfolio a site that in less than two years has been become a rage among preteens.

    Club Penguin offers a mix of games and chatting tools targeting kids ages 6-14. It nearly tripled in usage in the United States over the past year, according to comScore Media Metrix, and executives hope to expand to additional markets abroad and gain even more customers through promotions on other Disney-branded sites.

    "We have been actively searching for an organization that not only shares our values and concerns for children, but also has the ability and desire to help us bring Club Penguin to more children throughout the world," said Lane Merrifield, a Club Penguin co-founder. "We've found that partner in Disney."

    Although sites like Club Penguin and its rival, Webkinz, are forcing parents to grapple with how young kids should be roaming about and chatting with friends online, many Internet safety experts believe these social-networking precursors are far safer than News Corp.'s MySpace, Facebook and other hangouts for older users.

    "Club Penguin embodies principles that are of the utmost importance to Disney - providing high-quality family entertainment and fostering parental trust," said Bob Iger, Disney's president and chief executive. "The founders have woven together new technologies and creativity to build an incredibly compelling, immersive entertainment experience for kids and families."

    Disney said it has no immediate plans to change Club Penguin's operations, which will continue to run from Kelowna, Canada. Club Penguin has more than 700,000 subscribers paying about $5 a month. A free version lacks many features popular with kids, including the ability to decorate a virtual igloo.
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  3. #2
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    Smile

    Thanks Jason!
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  4. #3
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    $350 million for what? Who? I never heard of them.... I hope they aren't buying something just for the sake of buying it....
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  5. #4
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    SO weird! My friend just introduced me to Club Penguin the other day. Her 6 year old nephew loves it. It's pretty cool. Sort of VMK like, you can play various games and chat with people. There are always tons and tons of people on it so I think it's probably a good investment.
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  6. #5
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    My boys are both members of Club Penguin. The love it and I am comfortable with them being on the site. They started as free members and they we upgraded them to the paid membership.

    It is insanely popular here.
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  7. #6
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    So the age levels will pretty much be Club Penguin, Toontown, Virtual Magic Kingdom, and then Pirate's Online whenever it does fully open. It's going to be interesting to see what they might do to the game.
    ŴĐŴ∫ňăŧĭć aka David o

  8. #7
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    My younger kids (10 & 11) play on Club Penguin all the time, and love it. It's very much like VMK, but nowhere near as nice.

    I don't really understand why Disney's doing this though. It really doesn't seem like a match for the two of them. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what becomes of this.
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  9. #8
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    I live in Kelowna, BC where Club Penguin originated and is based. I know two of the moderators. Recently we talked about how Disney's VMK was much the same only a little more advanced (caters to older kids than CP) and we speculated as to whether Disney would ever start charging for VMK because Club Penguin has been so successful charging a fee for the same idea. A week or so ago a rumor started around Kelowna that someone was trying to acquire Club Penguin, imagine my surprise when they said it was Disney. I'm thrilled for them, it puts their Company on the map. So far there is no mention of the Company moving to the US.
    I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.

  10. #9
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    My older two (11 & 8) both love Club Penguin. It's highly addictive so I have to limit each of them to an hour or two a week. Between our neighborhood, school and church friends alost all the children with access to a computer play on this site. Before I let my kids play on here I played for a while just to check out the security. The site has a lot of good safe guards to protect the kids.

    I imagine with the growth the site has had, the revenues from the memebership, advertising and the ability to cross it's other items this was a good purchase for Disney.
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