Very recently, Cass Lifeblossom asked me a question over Twitter - because Disney is shutting down two of their major online games, will it have an impact on other online companies, specifically KingsIsle? This question spiked my interest level quite a bit, and I've decided to offer my opinion in a post.
Toontown and Pirates of the Caribbean Online to CloseThe announcement came as a shock to the entire gaming community when Disney set a date for the official close of Toontown for September 19th. They said this: "At this time, we are shifting our development focus towards other online and mobile play experiences, and a growing selection of Disney Mobile apps." All players were and are being upgraded to members automatically to enjoy content until the closing date.
We were all even more surprised to hear that Pirates of the Caribbean Online would also come to an end on the same day. Disney made the same, general announcement about shifting focus, but specifically mentioned their popular online game, Club Penguin, in the process.
Fear of the EndWe all dread the day that Wizard101 and even Pirate101 come to a close... but the day will come. I did a three-part series on the end of Wizard101, and the reaction was largely that that danger doesn't seem too close at hand, but that it'd be awfully frightening.
Twitter Poll = Psychology Study?I asked a question on Twitter - If KingsIsle shut down today in the United States, what would most likely be your course of action? I gave four options:
[A] Begin playing Wizard101 UK, hosted by Gameforge, as a permanent alternative (Why? Because it's familiar?)
[B] Move to other online games that you already play or have heard about (Because of a lack of stability in 101 games or otherwise?)
[C] Quit playing online games altogether (Though you may remain active in the community)
[D] Other - please explain!
I counted each person's response once. If they listed two options, I counted both. The results? Eight said that they'd begin Wizard101 UK, while each other option had only a single vote.
The reality of the matter is that we, as humans, are creatures of habit. We love what is familiar to us and what we already know how to do. But what does that have to do with Toontown and Pirates closing?
Game DriftersUltimately, I think that this small little poll will be a decent indicator of how the closing of Disney games will end up. Eight out of eleven people will probably end up in other Disney games. Of course, you might also take into consideration that not all Disney games are very similar. They have a much greater diversity than KingsIsle. So perhaps PotC Online players may end up trying Pirate101. Toontown players might like Wizard101.
My ending prediction is that KingsIsle will see some increase in players to both games. I don't know the exact number of players in these games (though Toontown stated having seen over 50 million toons enter the game since 2002 - this may be more relevant to characters than players themselves), but I would assume that many will end up locating other similar online games.
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the WorstHopefully, not only are both KingsIsle games looking far onto the horizon with no end in sight, but also seeing an increase in players this year as two or Disney's signature games come to a close on September 19th. What do you think? How will this change affect KingsIsle? Are we in the clear?
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Cass Lifeblossom for his post idea.