Why I'm Not Playing Club Penguin Rewritten

Club Penguin has been gone for several months now. But still, the pain of losing my beloved childhood game hasn't sunk in yet. This is due to many things that I'll get into in other posts, but the major reason is that it's not truly gone. In it's place is a little game called Club Penguin Rewritten. It uses the code of Club Penguin and reworks several newer features to feel like the old experience. Taking from all aspects of Club Penguin history (mainly 2007-2011), it's purpose is to fill the gap for players who aren't over the original Club Penguin experience. For many players, it has been. But not for me.

The day Club Penguin shut down, many players signed up for Rewritten. The Rewritten team did a major advertising campaign near the end of Club Penguin- and players were overjoyed that Club Penguin was still going to be around, in spirit, through a private server. The team had made commitments to continuously update the game with new features, and many Club Penguin bloggers are now Club Penguin Rewritten bloggers because of the consistent updates. Rewritten already has hosted a Water Party, Music Jam, and more- and is gearing up for the Festival of Flight this month. Not only have they added parties but are continuing the It Starts With You! Online Safety campaign, have recently added Card-Jitsu to the Dojo, and they update the Newspaper, Catalogs, and Pin location at their original scheduled times.

Rewritten is the only Club Penguin Private Server (abbreviated CPPS) that has ever tried to replicate the authentic Club Penguin experience using already existing assets that has been updated on a consistent basis. It's one of the most talked about and creative CPPSes since Pengable and Flippr, and it's preserving the legacy of a game beloved by millions. However, it's all too familiar to me.

Let me give you some background: Club Penguin was originally a game titled Experimental Penguins. Much like Club Penguin, it was a social experience where you could waddle around and chat online with other players. It was a simplistic idea- but at the time, it was unheard of. All social networks were either just being created or were targeted to adults. But Lance Priebe, better known as RocketSnail, thought that kids should have a fun and safe interactive experience where they could connect and make friends online. Experimental Penguins soon became Penguin Chat 3, which looked very similar to Club Penguin. The idea of Club Penguin (or at the time, Snow Blaster), led to the creation of New Horizons, which was formed by Lance Priebe, Lane Merrified, and Dave Krysto.
Finally, in October 24th, 2005, Club Penguin was born. Little did the small team at New Horizons know that their small penguin world would soon become a phenomenon.

I started playing Club Penguin in March of 2006 because it was something I could play with my brother and my friends. I kept playing Club Penguin over the years because the team had promised that they would deliver new and fresh content every week, and they delivered. The mini games, the unique style of the rooms, decorating igloos, making sure I fed my puffle before a road trip so he wouldn't run away, and of course, the awesome parties. Medieval Party, Summer/Water Party, Music Jam, Fall Fair, Halloween Party, and the Christmas Party. I have fond memories of all of these parties. Club Penguin makes up most of my childhood memories. Talking to my friends about Club Penguin, searching for clues about the mysterious yellow puffle, and later white puffle, collecting all the pins over my 10 years of playing, attempting to complete Card-Jitsu and it's variations, and so much more. It was exciting to see the developers put that much time and care into the game, and it was unlike anything done before.

Once Disney acquired Club Penguin, it was greatly improved for a long while. Bigger parties, outside events at Disney World, and more money had been put into Club Penguin. It was an experience first but expanded into outside merchandise widely distributed by Disney. The merchandise included playsets, puffle and penguin plushes, a Card Jitsu card game with multiple sets throughout it's lifetime, books based around the Club Penguin island, and even video games for the Nintendo DS and Wii, which I still have to this day. Club Penguin, at that time, was becoming more than just a virtual world for kids. It was a worldwide phenomenon like no other, topping the charts on it's original website, Miniclip, for a while- and soon became the number one virtual world for kids, with hundreds of million active players every day from around the world.

The original Club Penguin experience is irreplaceable. No matter how many reused assets the Club Penguin Rewritten team wants to use, no matter what form or direction they take Rewritten in, it will never be as popular as Club Penguin was in it's prime. It will never have the amazing startup story that Club Penguin did. It will never have the success that Club Penguin did. I would not have played Club Penguin for as long as I did if it didn't have the story it had.

I look up to Lane, Lance, Dave, Chris, and more of the original staff because I deeply respect their dedication to creating all of the components of Club Penguin. I loved the design of the game, I loved the features of the game, I loved the concept for the time and I loved the execution even more. I loved to see what new idea or party they were coming out with next. That's why I started Club Penguin blogging. I look up to these adults who I constantly adored as a young fan, and respect so much to this day. Their dedication and creativity to Club Penguin was amazing, and I try to keep up to date what each one of them is creating nowadays.

Club Penguin Rewritten is trying to replicate old Club Penguin. But, the original Club Penguin provided such a unique experience all things considered, and that's something Rewritten can never replace.

Club Penguin Rewritten is lacking the heart of original Club Penguin. It almost feels like Rewritten is a hallow shell of Club Penguin- all of the parts are there, but something very important is missing.
That very important aspect of the Rewritten experience that's missing is the magic of the original Club Penguin. Again, Rewritten will never be able to replicate the magnitude of the original Club Penguin at it's peak, or be able to replace all of the original game's memories or story. That, in my opinion, is the most important aspect. If you're aware that your developers are putting a lot of time and effort into your game, it shows through the gameplay. But in Rewritten, it's all reused, and to me, it's completely lacking in what the original Club Penguin was fueled with- new content and creativity every week.

Maybe that's why I'm not over Club Penguin's closure- because I have been truly motivated by the hard work and dedication of the team at New Horizons- and that legacy can never die. It's really something special.

 Lastly, as much as I love Club Penguin, I feel like, for me, it's for the best that Club Penguin closed when it did. I'm never going to be truly over Club Penguin, but I needed to finally quit after 11 years.

But I digress. For the reasons above, that is why I don't and will not be playing or blogging about Club Penguin Rewritten.

(This post wasn't made to say Club Penguin Rewritten is a bad game on any level. Like I said earlier, it is fun enough if older players wish to go back and play mini-games or revisit the monthly party. I respect Rewritten as a conservation effort, and I commend them for doing so. It just doesn't interest me.)

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