Disney Loses Its Mind

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Disney has officially lost its mind. The Immodest Mouse bought Club Penguin, a social networking site for the tween and pre-tween demo. As the name suggests, Club Penguin allows you to make your own penguin avatar and enter a virtual world where you can endure the brutal, constantly near-death existence of a penguin to the High School Musical soundtrack. Nothing eases the pain of standing on the outer edge of a pack during a blizzard on the verge of starvation and metabolic shutdown than "We're All in This Together."
Capitalizing on the popularity of penguins, who have displaced the morbidly obese in Hollywood as the de facto generators of lazy comedy (we all know, from Eddie Murphy movies to Big Momma's House to Tyler Perry that everything fat people do is hilarious, but we are just beginning to discover that everything penguins do is hilarious, like surfing, dancing, or getting eaten), Club Penguin was founded by three Canadian dads in 2005. The site is ad-free, which makes it all the more un-monetizablelicious.
Disney paid $350 million for Club Penguin. The site must be huge to generate a price that’s almost 70% of what MySpace went for, right? Here’s the kicker – the site has 700,000 users. That means that Disney paid $500 per user (on what we’re sure is a pretty sad revenue number). Disney, deciding this wasn’t ridiculous enough, has promised another $350 million by 2009 if the site meets its growth targets.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Club Penguin founders “decided to sell now because the company had got to a point where it needed a partner to grow.” That and they realized they hit the jackpot by coming across a drunkenly irrational mouse.
When Zuckerberg heard this, he instantly upped the required facebook bid in his head to $35 billion.
Disney Buys Kids' Social-Network Site [Wall Street Journal]

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