It’s not often that playing video games ends in a police raid. That seems to have been the result as authorities in London have officially shut down an unsanctioned video game that was purchased by Disney and subsequently shut down back in 2017. In typical fashion, the House of Mouse came down hard on developers that were keeping a remake video game alive. During this apparent raid, three suspects in relation to keeping this game alive had been arrested, and have since been let go. This could have been their deeply laden warning to not launch another private server. That game in question is none other than Club Penguin Rewritten. The original Club Penguin was an MMO that was originally a kids’ game. However, fans were so enthralled by the gameplay, that multitudes of clones came out over the years. There were none more popular than Rewritten, which has now been sadly shut down.
Apparently, the original Club Penguin was shut down in 2017, leaving players stranded in a world full of anthropomorphic penguins, which led to Club Penguin Rewritten being launched on private servers. Honestly, the fact that this remake lasted nearly 5 years is impressive. At the time of its closure, Rewritten had around 10 million users. Disney may have been more than irate about the fact that one of its properties was being used without the company profiting in some way. People sure like this simplistic MMO. A player documented the whole experience on their Twitter page, as the remaining few in the Rewritten servers held strong until they were forced out of the game. You can see this image below:
Imagine being the final penguins in Club Penguin Rewritten, as you slowly disappear one by one. That is morbid considering this was a children’s game. Disney is known for shutting down unsanctioned games that use their property. A fan-made Knights of the Old Republic game was made by fans, only to be shut down when it was completed. Fans remade the entire game using the Unreal Engine 4. The same thing happened with Rewritten. The official discord page, which was once full of life, has a simple message left: “CPRewritten is shutting down effective immediately due to a full request by Disney. We have voluntarily given control over the website to the police for them to continue their copyright investigation.” That is surely the right way to go about this. No one wants to be arrested for copyright infringement for a game they kept alive at the behest of fans. While everyone is surely disappointed, it’s something that had to be done.
All the fan pages for Club Penguin Rewritten have been shut down as well, with the official website for the game showing that the authorities have surely taken over. A message indicates that the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has taken over the property. Sometimes fans take it upon themselves to extend the magic and community created by games. These communities become so active in their want to keep these games around that they then engage in illicit activities to keep said games going. Unfortunately, copyright infringement laws don’t allow unsanctioned versions of properties to remain existing. There are none stricter than Disney at shutting down unsanctioned games. Rest in peace to Club Penguin Rewritten.