Fans of Club Penguin were thrilled when the closed Disney game was revived as the Club Penguin Rewritten – a fan-made re-creation of the popular original. This week, however, their digital dreams were shattered again as three people reportedly were arrested in connection with the closure of the site for allegedly distributing copyrighted material.
The Club Penguin Rewrite was launched in 2017, the same year that its ancestors closed down. Copycat was developed to mimic the original game as much as possible while adding new content so players could continue exploring a delightful world of anthropomorphic penguins. But active players of the Club Penguin Rewritten were greeted with a sharp black-and-white message from the City Police of London on the game’s website earlier this week: “This page has been taken over by Operation Creative, Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).”
That’s what Detective Daryl Fryatt of the London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit said in a statement given to a of blog“Three people were arrested on April 12 on suspicion of distributing copyright infringing material and searches were conducted. They have been released during investigation and to assist in the police investigation.they agreed to sign the PIPCU website. “
The shutdown came as a surprise. Disney – the company behind the original Club Penguin, and no stranger to closes other Club Penguin knockoffs-are also involved in the investigation, according to the creator of Club Penguin Rewritten. The Club Penguin Rewritten team voluntarily handed over control of the website to police earlier this week. London City Police and Disney have not yet returned a request for comment.
Administrator Thorn, who runs the counterfeit game, wrote in his official Discord channel: “CPRewritten closes with immediate effect due to a full request from Disney. We have voluntarily given control of the website to the police so they can continue their copyright investigation.”
After the Club Penguin Rewrite was released in 2017, it experienced a consistent development and growth from users who want to relive their childhood memories of playing the original game, which was officially closed the same year. However, it seems that the growth came with a price tag.
“Of course it costs money to run a game like this,” in-game moderator BigChun told Gizmodo. “That’s why ads were placed on certain parts of the game. We, or at least I, assume that’s how Disney got us.”
Since the Club Penguin Rewritten is based on Disney’s intellectual property, the placement of advertisements to increase the game’s revenue likely infringed the original Club Penguin’s copyright. However, according to BigChun, ads were not placed on the Club Penguin Rewrite until the summer of 2020, meaning that this investigation and subsequent closure did not take place for close to two years.