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Disney Closing All Virtual World Games Sept. 19th

After a decade, Disney Interactive closes the doors on ALL of it's MMOs.

by 8 months ago

The Wonderful (Virtual) World of Disney

Disney Interactive, known originally as Disney Online, started its first MMORPG with Toontown ten years ago in 2003. The family oriented, toon-style game enjoyed many years of success and had millions of players at the time when MMOs were nearly at their peak.

Toontown was named 2003's MMORPG of The Year, recieved a Webby Award that year and a Parent's Choice Foundation award for creating a fun, whimsical environment that was social and yet safe for kids.

Two years later, Disney announced the development of Pirates of the Caribbean Online, which was intended to be released in time for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to be in theatres.

The game was held back a year and debuted on Halloween, 2007.

Pirates Online, while not receiving the same critical acclaim as Toontown (though the games were based on the same game engine and had similar functionality), it did initially find a popular audience due to the well-known film franchise.

Disney followed with Pixie Hollow, an MMO primarily aimed at young girls, who could play fairies and pixies in the same world that Tinkerbell from Peter Pan lived. 

World of Cars game was also created, but the game shut down after only a few years due to lack of interest.

Three Worlds - One Fate

In a world where many MMO's have a long development period, but often a short shelf life, six years to a decade is a pretty impressive record. But despite initial success, like many MMO's, all three games waned in popularity.

Many players felt that not enough attention was given to long-term development and maintenance. Disney also underwent a change of game philosophy as in-house development was phased out and opted for outside developers via licensing instead. The creation of Club Penguin may have had a big impact, since it was highly popular while being a simple game aimed right at Disney's core demographic.

Lack of funding, redirection of assets and products with limited lifespans, meant that at some point the Virtual Worlds would reach their end.

That End Has Been Determined

It was announced today that on September 19, 2013 all of the Virtual Worlds games will be closing their doors. Disney is already in the process of issuing refunds to paying customers and will grant free Unlimited play on all three games until the deadline.

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Comments
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Pretty Polly said:
    Such a shame! Many adults and children still love POTCO, the simplicity of it, ease of use. But its more than that, we love the community that's built up within the game, friendships forged over the years. Young and old alike sharing the thing they love most- being a PIRATE!! There's nothing out there now that is quite like this game. I've been with it since Beta. All Disney had to do was update it and we would have been happy! Maybe they will take POTCO revamp it and resurrect it when POTC5 comes out. Here's hoping!
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Sanja Pixie Mum said:
    So many adults and children are just in shock now - we were playing the Pixie Hollow with our daughter for years, since she was first grade , till now - all from the beta version of the game, loyal members and fans.
    There must be a way - maybe to built Pixie Hollow again, if the current version and technology does not work ... just to know we will fly in Pixie Hollow again ;'-(
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Bianca_2715 said:
    Please help by signing the following petition and spreading the word: https://www.change.org/petitions/robert-iger-disney-pixie-hollow-stop-the-shut-down-of-pixie-hollow
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Pleasant _2920 said:
    Not good news. I dont know if there is another game geared more towards girls, in a safe environment like Pixie Hollow (closed also). She has enjoyed it immensely.
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Bianca_2715 said:
    You can help by signing the petition for pixie hollow: https://www.change.org/petitions/robert-iger-disney-pixie-hollow-stop-the-shut-down-of-pixie-hollow
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Bianca_2715 said:
    Please help us stop the close of pixie hollow by signing the following petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/robert-iger-disney-pixie-hollow-stop-the-shut-down-of-pixie-hollow
  • 38
    About 8 months ago,
    Amazon Eliza Steel (Featured Contributor) said:
    - They pretty much ignored the Revive POTCO petition all this year.
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Serendipity_4375 said:
    There's still hope. Sign the petition and maybe Disney will reconsider: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/257/590/769/stop-the-closing-of-disney-mmorpgs/
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Autumn_1545 said:
    Cars online needs to close! That game is so boring and dumb.Toontown was so much fun! I don't like that your turning to mobile devices, I can't afford a fancy smancy phone, I have a prepaid phone and a desktop computer.Can't afford tablets and blackberries etc, so now I will have nothing.
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    magie smalls said:
    this is stuiped.
  • 1
    About 7 months ago,
    Tyler_2036 said:
    well i'm pissed i never got to play cars online when it was up and running but you can't shut down toon town
  • 1
    About 6 months ago,
    sab123 said:
    we still have club penguin :):):):)
  • 1
    About 2 months ago,
    clent allison said:
    I wish Disney would sell this game a let someone pick it up or if their was a pirate server
  • 1
    About 1 month ago,
    Will Squidmonger said:
    Disney blames the POTC community for it's closing... For YEARS we were complaining about lack of updates and lag... MUCH could have been done with just a simple code rewrite to get rid of the lag... MUCH could have been done if they had LISTENED to the updates the COMMUNITY wanted... Rather than listen to us, they simply closed down OUR world...