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Disney to Buy Club Penguin for up to $700 Million
At BlogPhiladelphia, one of the sessions I attended dealt with virtual worlds. The discussion was supposed to center around Second Life but it seemed many of the attendees continually brought up Club Penguin as a better example of a virtual world that actually works and generates revenue. Today we learn that Disney is acquiring Club Penguin for $350 million in cash.
The WSJ notes regarding the deal, "Founded by three Canadian fathers in late 2005, Club Penguin has quickly rocketed to prominence by offering kids the ability to customize their own virtual penguin in an online community. Armed with their penguin avatars, kids can chat with friends, play games and earn coins to buy items such as furnishings for their igloo home."
Mathew Ingram says the following regarding the potential $700 million payout, "That’s a pretty handsome return on a little over a year’s worth of work, and from what I have been told — by at least one VC who was kicking himself for not being able to get in on the deal — ClubPenguin.com had not taken any substantial venture capital money whatsoever."
It looks like the site will be rebranded "Disney's Club Penguin." I have to wonder how it will play into Disney's mobile strategy as well. Congrats to the CP team!