I found an interesting article on ZDnet about the future of Club Penguin. It’s from an interview with Lane Merrifield, also known as Billybob. Here’s some key points in it:
- There are over 150 million registered users.
- Club Penguin’s new chat system has over 300,000 approved messages.
- Over 56 million messages are sent each day on Club Penguin.
- Club Penguin receives about 10,000 emails a day. 200 people are in charge of replying to them. Wow!
- Soon there will be a translation service. With it we can be in a foreign server (Portuguese, French, or Spanish) and we can read and understand what they’re saying and they can read and understand what we are saying to them.
- Club Penguin’s business strategy is to provide social networking experiences for children, who engage in different ways than adults do on Facebook.
- “Club Penguin has four languages covered—English, Spanish, Portuguese and French—with a fifth on deck.” The fifth language is German.
- Billybob said the Club Penguin Team monitors the chat filters 100 times a week. As said in the article: “For instance, the word lollipop can be fine one day and then be deemed inappropriate when used in a rap song.” (In my opinion that’s kind of dumb, but I understand why they would do that)
- Disney keeps five years worth of chat logs. Basically they can see everything you’ve ever said in the game.
- Club Penguin will continue to use Flash because HTML 5 is still young and needs more additions to support Club Penguin. However, Club Penguin will be moving towards HTML 5 while they continue to use Flash.
- Club Penguin is starting to get plugs on the Disney Channel and there are short cartoons.
- It’s also likely Puffles and Club Penguin characters also are starting to appear in real world environments. (We’ve already had some of this)
- Today, Club Penguin requires kids to hop to various servers to explore. That process will become easier. (We’ll be able to switch between servers without having to log off and back on)
- “In the latest social enhancements, Club Penguin will allow for fully customized penguin avatars, best friend tagging, tools for finding friends and a feature to eliminate penguins from your computer screen.” (Fully customized penguin avatars? Is that something new?)
- The article does talk about the decision to make mobile apps.
In the article it states “On Thursday, Club Penguin started to roll out new chat and friends tools that will be available to all users in the weeks to come.” Does this mean not everybody has it yet?
If you would like to read the full thing click here. It’s rather interesting, as you can see. I’ve learned a lot!