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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] Schell later clarified that free-to-play gaming on mobile phones was cutting into the profitability of subscription-based gaming on desktop computers. He also confirmed that Disney had chosen to redirect all Disney Online resources to their acquisition of Club Penguin instead of maintaining Toontown Online, Pirates of the Caribbean Online and Pixie Hollow. Both of these problems led to the decision to close Toontown Online.[3]

Schell reported that Disney wants to port the game to mobile devices but doesn't yet see a working business model for self-sustaining, constantly-updating RPGs on mobile devices.[2] Contrary to popular belief, Disney did not close Toontown Online in spite of its fans or abandon the Toontown intellectual property. Disney still has access to the databases containing everyone's Toons data as of the closure date; none of the user accounts or Toons were deleted, and the databases are being stored securely.[4] 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 the Toontown license.[2] A solution has yet to be agreed upon, but these internal meetings still continued into at least 2016.[4]

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

  • 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 December 2018, 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 "such as Club Penguin" portion of the closing message was present in the original message but later removed, likely due to backlash from Toontown fans over the mention of Club Penguin as a reason for Toontown closing.

References

  1. Closing FAQ Toontown.com.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 File:OMG!Con 2015 - Jesse Schellivision.
  3. File:Toontown Online Developers Answer the Web's Most Searched Questions
  4. 4.0 4.1 File:OMG!Con 2016 - Jesse Schellivision.