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    Posted August 21, 2013 by
    Sluchsinger
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    Disney Shatters the "Magic"

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Sara Luchsinger says she and other users of the Toontown Online gaming platform won't know what to do when it closes. Disney has posted an announcement saying it is closing on September 19, 2013. 'At this time, we are shifting our development focus towards other online and mobile play experiences,' Disney writes on Toontown's FAQ page.

    Two other games, Pirates of the Caribbean Online and Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow, are also closing. Disney will likely place greater emphasis on a game called Club Penguin, according to a Bloomberg article.

    Toontown has been around since 2003. Luchsinger says she joined in 2005 when her 10-year-old goddaughter encouraged her to join. She's been hooked ever since, and even joined a group for adult users. Although the game is family-oriented, she says there is lots to appeal for all ages and she appreciated the 'sense of community' the game provided. When she heard about the game's closing, she decided to campaign for it to stay open. Luchsinger said she doesn't plan on setting up new digs at Club Penguin.

    'There is nothing out there similar, so I am not sure what, if anything, I will do at this point,' she said. 'I have a feeling that the mobile world in which we live in is evolving so quickly that if a game will continue to live on, it has to be played in a mobile format. Toontown isn't available for tablets or mobile phones, so I believe that the company is making the decision based on profits and platforms.'

    Disney sent the following statement: 'Disney Interactive is committed to offering high-quality, entertaining play experiences in both online virtual worlds and mobile apps. At this time, we are shifting our development focus towards other online and mobile play experiences, such as Club Penguin and a growing selection of Disney Mobile apps.'

    UPDATE: Read more about this story on CNN.com
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    A corporation the size and magnitude of Disney could easily keep several online gaming platforms open but instead shatter the dreams and hopes of 1000's of families who play their online multi-player games. With the promise of something bigger and better. In the world of technology things are always changing but in the world of family and the magic that is Disney, we love the classic, the known and wonderful world that Disney has created. Now with 100000's of fans being given only 30 days to save their favorite games. For example watch this video by a distraught child http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv4tgmJgUFc and the petitions are starting. Can a little media attention help us save our online game that so many love to enjoy as a family? https://www.change.org/petitions/bob-iger-disney-keep-toontown-open-facing-the-real-cogs

    We are hoping that if Disney listens to the real stories of the people involved that they will take a second look at saving the online game that is loved by so many and restoring the faith in the franchise that makes Disney the most magical place on earth.

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