Club Penguin arrived in Singapore this week. This geek has always heard about Club Penguin making millions of dollars getting kids to dress up Penguins but never understood the reason behind their wild success until now. While I’m working on a story on my CNET Blog now, you can read the full press release after the break.
Singapore: 8th September 2010:
All the fun and creativity of the popular virtual world of Club Penguin (www.clubpenguin.com) is now more accessible to children and families in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines than ever before.
The snow-covered online playground, which is enjoyed by fans in more than 190 countries around the globe, is free to play, but offers additional benefits to those who purchase subscription memberships. In response to a steady growth in popularity throughout Southeast Asia, Club Penguin recently launched the option to purchase memberships in local currency- Singaporean Dollar, Philippine Peso and Malaysian Ringgit. A monthly membership is SGD$6.95 per month.
“Children and families in Southeast Asia have really embraced Club Penguin and it was important to us to respond to that demand by making it easier for them to purchase memberships in the virtual world,” says Robb Beeston, Head of Disney Online Studios, Asia Pacific. “The virtual world is popular with kids and trusted by parents because we believe passionately in providing a fun online experience that’s guided by a strong commitment to safety. There’s no third party advertising in the virtual world of Club Penguin, and it’s thanks to the players who purchase memberships we’re able to maintain that no-ads policy as well as a large team of trained moderators and player support staff.”
In addition to being able to pay for membership in local currency, parents in Southeast Asia can now feel more peace of mind than ever in letting their children play Club Penguin, thanks to research indicating the popular online playground helps boost children’s reading activity.
In independent research by Professor Jackie Marsh, Head of the Department of Educational Studies at the University of Sheffield in England, Club Penguin was found to be the most popular online community amongst 52 per cent of children that reported using virtual worlds regularly. Individual research showed that, after game playing, the most popular activity on Club Penguin was reading. In addition, children, particularly boys, reported being more motivated to read in Club Penguin than offline.1
Club Penguin (www.clubpenguin.com), part of Disney Online, is one of the largest and fastest-growing virtual worlds for children. Since launching into cyberspace five years ago from its headquarters in Kelowna, Canada, the virtual world has expanded internationally, and now has teams located around the globe, including Sydney, Australia.
Available to play in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, Club Penguin optimizes the safety of its online environment through the use of chat filters and live moderators to monitor chat and activity on the site and prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information.
A parent’s email address is required to create a penguin, and parental permission is required in order to activate an account and allow play within the virtual world. Parents can also create their own account which allows them to logon and view their child’s account history, change their child’s password, choose a different chat mode and set the time of day and duration of their child’s visit to Club Penguin.
Club Penguin has won numerous awards from parents and consumer groups, including being recognized by influential Australian parent’s website Kidspot. Club Penguin was awarded with the Best of 2009 award, “Highly Recommended” in the category of best website for kids aged 8-11years.
1 Professor Jackie Marsh research: Young Children’s Play In Online Virtual Worlds: University of Sheffield, UK journal of early childhood research. Vol 8(1) 23–39 [ISSN 1476-718X DOI: 10.1177/1476718X09345406]
About Club Penguin
Club Penguin (www.clubpenguin.com), a product of Disney Online, provides one of the largest and fastest-growing virtual worlds for children. Club Penguin works to maintain a fun and safe online entertainment experience by using filtering technology and live moderators. The virtual world of Club Penguin, contains no third-party advertising and is free to use and enjoy, however a subscription membership provides access to additional features that enhance the play experience. Club Penguin is headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, and can be played in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish.
About Disney Online
Disney Online (www.Disney.com), a unit of Disney Interactive Media Group, produces the No. 1 ranked community-family and parenting destination on the World Wide Web. Launched in 1996, Disney.com is the online and mobile web gateway to all of the company’s Disney-branded entertainment initiatives, providing comprehensive access to, and information about Disney movies, travel, television, games, music, shopping and live events.