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It had a public Beta Testing in August , and was officially launched on October 24, It was later bought by Disney in August It involved a virtual world , where the players were penguins , and was featuring a large range of minigames and other online activities , and was based on a snowy island , after which the game was named. Club Penguin has been noted as sharing similarities with other popular browser-based online environments such as RuneScape and Habbo Hotel , such as the use of an in-game currency to purchase virtual items and pets, named " puffles ". The game was specifically designed for players within the ages of however all ages can play , thus child safety was a vital responsibility of the game's developers. There were over ,, penguin accounts created and played in over countries. It was estimated that over million people worldwide play Club Penguin , which was originally built on a Smart Fox Server. Their headquarters was located in Kelowna, Canada. He had the idea about creating an online snowball war game that would involve penguins. They originally chose penguins because they were easy to animate and Lance was inspired by a picture in the newspaper of a penguin slipping on a banana peel.
Disney has ordered unauthorised copies of its Club Penguin game to close, after the BBC found children were being exposed to explicit messages. Visits to fan-run Club Penguin Online surged during the coronavirus pandemic with more than a million new players. But racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and sexual messages flow freely on the unauthorised platform. Disney said it was "appalled" by the website, and has ordered it to close or face legal action. One man involved in the site has been arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.