Ever since Club Penguin launched over 11 years ago, the online game itself has made money exclusively from the sales of Memberships. If you had the monthly plan, you were charged $5.95 a month. In 2011, the price was bumped to $7.95. With the new iteration of the brand being Club Penguin Island on track to launch early next month, Disney has stuck with the current Membership system. Baseline pricing for the United States will be $6.99 a month. Since this game is on mobile devices, this opens the door for a brand new path Disney could take the game down. Microtransactions! (In-App Purchases).
In-App Purchases is where you pay a certain amount of money for a specific item or feature. Many, many games utilize this system and it makes them a lot of money. However, will Club Penguin Island experience the same success as these other apps have? Personally, I don’t think so. First of all, Club Penguin Island is not like those other apps. It’s a MMORPG. A virtual world. Considering the broadness of the game with all of its features, (clothing, furniture, quests, puffles, mini-games, etc) I doubt it would work.
Disney emphasises learning real life skills on Club Penguin, and I am sure they will do the same with Island. Having a user dish out $3.99 for 30,000 coins isn’t learning anything. Having the player pay $2.00 for a cool looking shirt when you can create unlimited combinations with the Clothing Designer does not make sense.
I personally believe they should stick with the Membership based system. One Membership gives you unlimited access to all of what Club Penguin Island has to offer. The game is just too big for microtransactions. Disney does however need to greatly improve the free player experience. Right now, they are bombarded with restrictions. It’s not fun to play as a free player right now. Improve that end of the spectrum, give the player an incentive to buy the Membership, and you’re all set.
THAT is the route I believe Club Penguin Island should take. Now that you heard my two cents, I’d love to hear what YOU have to say regarding this matter. Do you believe Membership is the way to go, or perhaps the game could actually benefit from microtransactions?
Leave a comment below, and let me know! 🙂