Club Penguin was a massively multiplayer online game (MMO), involving a virtual world that contained a range of online games and activities. It was created by New Horizon Interactive (now known as Disney Canada Inc.). Players used cartoon penguin-avatars and played in a winter-set virtual world. After beta-testing, Club Penguin was made available to the general public on October 24, 2005, and expanded into a large online community, such that by late 2007, it was claimed Club Penguin had over 30 million user accounts. As of July 2013, Club Penguin had over 200 million registered user accounts. While free memberships were available, revenue was predominantly raised through paid memberships, which allowed players to access a range of additional features, such as the ability to purchase virtual clothing, furniture, and in-game pets called "puffles" for their penguins through the usage of in-game currency. The success of Club Penguin led to New Horizon being purchased by The Walt Disney Company in August 2007 for the sum of 350 million dollars, with an additional 350 million dollars in bonuses should specific targets be met by 2009. The game was specifically designed for children aged 6 to 14 (however, users of any age were allowed to play Club Penguin). Thus, a major focus of the developers was on child safety, with a number of features having been introduced to the game to facilitate this. These features included offering an "Ultimate Safe Chat" mode, whereby users selected their comments from a menu; filtering that prevented swearing and the revelation of personal information; and moderators who patrolled the game.
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