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Monday, August 26, 2013

Disney's Game Closings to Affect KingsIsle?


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 Close

The 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 End

We 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.

Of course, short of personally marching to KingsIsle's offices to turn back on the game (Cret92 if you hadn't guessed) or sign a petition to make KingsIsle reopen (Amber Firesword), there isn't much we can do for the close of either game. Our question here is where PotC Online and Toontown players will end up, though. Let's conduct a little social experiment.

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 Drifters

Ultimately, 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 Worst

Hopefully, 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.

8 comments:

  1. As a whole even if Wizards shut down, pirates wouldn't. KI wouldn't stop making games so we will never have to be worried. And honestly, Toontown and Pirates closing really isn't going to effect anything in my opinion. Both were very old and out of date with few players. Wizard101 beat out all the competition years ago, Fusionfall, Free Realms, Toontown, Club Penguin, Pirates Online, even stole the younger players from things like WoW. In no way do I think KI would be effected, perhaps a slight increase in players for people looking for a new game, but other than that, I don't see anything happening. Honestly the whole "Wizards is coming to a close" thing is just kinda silly. In no way is KI even thinking of closing their servers down when they are making money. Just because of lack of content in worlds doesn't mean they gave up at all. The day the community and servers close will be the day we go to Jupiter.

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    1. I actually meant to add a graph in there - you reminded me. They haven't beat out ALL of their other competitors, and they certainly aren't far beyond the other companies.

      I think the online world of gaming is more fragile than you realize. Sure, they're bringing in revenue now, but both of the current games will close eventually. That's almost inevitable. We're not so much arguing about whether or not it'll happen so much as when it will happen.

      Right now, they've got plenty of time and money to go around, sure. But so does Disney. And they got rid of a few loose ends purely to work on new things. Think about it that way. Not so much that it has to happen but that it's make things convenient. And Disney has ten legs to stand on, KingsIsle does not. If the level of revenue does not meet high standards for continued development of three or more new projects, they may shift their focus to those new areas and close Wizard for the sake of convenience.

      You mention one of the points of the three-part series. Alone, it doesn't do much damage. Pair it with the other two and that's a strong argument. I'm not so much as saying that that's my opinion as that it's very possible.

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    2. "wizard101 falls or wizard101 RISES!"
      "WIZARD101 RISES!"
      going doctor who-y on this! fun!

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  2. This makes me rather anxious, you know. I mean, you make it sound like Wizard101 is going to end tomorrow or something. All these bundled sales is kinda concerning (+50% more crowns online, +25% more crowns at Gamestop, online bundles on sale). What's up with this mentality anyway? Very gloomy, I must say.

    I am not at all supportive of the idea of Wizard101 ending. Inevitable or not, this, and Pirate101, have been very important to my life. I grew up with Wizard101 for the past 4 years and now all you're all Azteca on us. "The games gonna end!", "Save your players!", "Xibalba comes to devour the game." Something in that context. I've developed memories here, seen amazing story telling, build friendships, and now you're telling that's over. REALLY? I'm not ready or open to giving all these great years up.

    I get that all you're trying to do is just point out that Wizard101 could come to end. Yes, the displeasure in some players, J. Todd Coleman's leaving, and other factors are not oblivious, but this is much. I get that you may want to know when Wizard101 will end (I'm sure you'll find Death somewhere around here. Have you tried Cool Ranch?), but frankly, I don't want to know. I don't want to here in December, "We're closing down the servers." I want this game to go on for a long time (10 years at least), and it feels like you only see 2 years left of this game. Does the time you've spent here mean absolutely nothing?

    I don't think KI is going to close Wizard101 or Pirate101 anytime soon. Compared to Disney, KI does not support enough products to cut either of their games. They only have 2 major games and it would be horrific to end either one now.

    I'm pretty sure they have many plans for these games, and I'm positive they will be able to continue. I get that maybe you can't see anything past the Morangthe arc in Wizard or Pirate101's story, but this is no different from what people said back when it was just Dragonspyre. "They'll be no new levels" and then Celestia happened. So what's stopping KI from making Level 110 after November?

    Even with their imperfections, with some careful fixes over the years, all these problems and all these worries can be mended and put to rest. So, in short, I'm going to agree with Nicholas. I don't think KI is going to end Wizard101 anytime soon and I don't think KI will be too effected by the closing of Disney games.

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  3. It's sad that Disney had to close these games as many people will miss them ;(

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  4. i have played toontown and really i wasn't impressed it kept freezing up on me but i actually came on this cite to give an idea if kingsisle had another "101" game i think it should have monsters and call it "monster 101"

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  5. I'd go for option [D] as in die of wizard101 deprevation OR storm kingsisle with artillery with fire school symbols on it. HOWEVER, i am not handed anything sharper than a pencil and i think the government would notice me buying that stuff.

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  6. Human that is realJune 27, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    Wizard101 has 50 million players at the moment and that will most likely grow, granted some players that played the game when it came out are leaving slowly, new players are filling the spot. I played toontown and unlike wizard101 kingsisle thought smart and made it so you don't just buy memberships, you can buy crowns, and bundles, granted KI will have to pull the plug in eventually the game should be up for a while, with new updates and such we are going to have a great time with KI.

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