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Closure of Toontown Online

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This article or section is about something in real life or outside the normal gameplay of the game.

On August 20, 2013, Disney announced that Disney's Toontown Online was scheduled to close on September 19, 2013, at 11:59 AM Pacific time. The game was still online for almost 30 minutes afterward, but all servers were reset somewhere around 12:30 PM Pacific time. Since that time, the game's launcher has not been able to connect any users to the game.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 10.01.42 PM

Closing Announcement


Reason for closing

According to the Closing FAQ, Disney's reasoning for closing the game was as follows:

The Walt Disney Company 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[note 1] and a growing selection of Disney Mobile apps. We deeply appreciate your enthusiasm and loyal support for Toontown Online and sincerely hope you will continue to enjoy the large variety of online and mobile play experiences Disney offers - with more to come soon!

–Closing FAQ, [1]

In June 2015, Jesse Schell hinted that Toontown Online closed due to becoming unsustainable in its business model (subscription-based downloadable RPG).[2] Rumors were being spread that Microsoft was interested in purchasing Toontown Online if it could become mobile-friendly, and Jesse Schell confirmed that Disney wants to be able to port the game to mobile devices,[2] but there's no working business model for self-sustaining, constantly-updating RPGs on mobile devices as of yet.

Contrary to popular belief, Disney did not abandon Toontown Online or close it in spite of their userbase. The company has hosted internal meetings discussing the future of the game, taking the popularity of mobile games and the payment options available on that platform into consideration for planning the next step for Toontown Online and the Toontown license.[2] A solution has yet to be agreed upon, but as of 2017, these internal meetings still continue.[3]

Events and items

  • On August 23, 2013, the Silly Meter returned and the Gadzooks Shirt was added to the game. Also, Clarabelle Cow opened the Cattlelog to include every accessory ever available.
  • On August 30, 2013, Goofy knocked the Silly Meter into a spooky mode, spreading Halloween across Toontown. All costumes became available in the Cattlelog. Toons were also able to trick-or-treat across Toontown and earn a pumpkin head, which lasted until September 5, 2013.
  • On September 6, 2013, in an attempt to restore the Silly Meter's function, Goofy accidentally set Toontown into Winter Holiday mode. Winter parties returned, as well as caroling across Toontown to earn a snowman head, which lasted until September 13.
  • On September 11 and 12, Cold Callers invaded Toontown.
  • On September 13, 2013 - which was a Friday the 13th and due to the work of the Silly Meter, all Toons, including NPCs, were temporarily transformed into black cats. Toons could create their own black cats that would permanently remain as black cats until the game's closure.
  • On September 16 and 17, The Big Cheeses invaded Toontown.
  • Death note

    Error message when trying to log in for the last few hours.

    At some point during the morning of September 19, the game stopped connecting any more players who attempted to log in. Only players who had already logged in still had access to the game until the servers reset around 12:30 PM Pacific time. Internal memos between Toontown employees later confirmed that hackers had caused the error, and were trying to fix it and keep the game open a few hours longer, but they couldn't fix it in time.
  • In the first two weeks of January 2014, the website went through a takedown process. At first, the domain toontown.com was trying to access content that wasn't there, but by January 11, the domain was modified to redirect to Disney's homepage at disney.com.

Memberships

Starting on August 20th, all players enjoyed full membership benefits without having to purchase one. Anyone who was already a member were no longer charged recurring payments (refunds were sent out via email if applicable), and membership packages could no longer be purchased.

Billing support for Toontown ended on November 18, 2013.

Trivia

  • Disney still has access to the databases containing the Toons' data as of the closure date; none of the user accounts or Toons have been deleted, and the databases are being stored securely.[3]
  • The closure announcement for Toontown was concurrent with the closure announcements of Pirates of the Caribbean Online and Pixie Hollow, which closed at the same time as Toontown.
  • As of February 2017, the domain names for Toontown and Pirates of the Caribbean Online redirect to Disney's home page. Pixie Hollow's domain name redirects to a broken page that used to host an FAQ concerning the game's closure (no such FAQ was made for Toontown or Pirates).

Notes

  1. The portion of this closing message that is struck out was in the original closure message but has since been removed. Likely reasoning for this was Disney receiving the fans' negative reactions over the mention of Club Penguin by name as a reason for Toontown closing, which is not a confirmed cause.

References

  1. Closing FAQ Toontown.com.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 File:OMG!Con 2015 - Jesse Schellivision.
  3. 3.0 3.1 File:OMG!Con 2016 - Jesse Schellivision.

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