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Club Penguin opens office in Sydney
August 5, 2008


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 5 August, 2008 -Club Penguin, the virtual world children around the globe can't get enough of is expanding to provide additional player support and moderation from an office in Sydney. The expansion of services means Club Penguin players in Australia will benefit from more timely and responsive customer support, the ability to pay in local currency and locally-based moderators better positioned to protect their interests and online safety.


General Manager and co-founder Lane Merrifield, who is in Sydney to announce the opening of the new office, says Club Penguin counts more than a million Aussie kids among its players.


"Personal support and live moderation are critical to how we look after our audience so we're really excited to have a team in place in Australia," says Merrifield.


Club Penguin (www.clubpenguin.com), a part of Disney Online, is a virtual land of ice and snow where kids can play games, chat and hang out with friends in the guise of colourful, penguin avatars. One of the largest and fastest-growing virtual worlds for children, Club Penguin launched into cyberspace less than three years ago from its headquarters in Kelowna, Canada. Thanks to its rich, imaginative play environment, sophisticated filtering system and large team of highly-trained, live moderators, Club Penguin has become a trusted provider of fun for families around the world.


Club Penguin opened its first international office this past April in Brighton, England. With the addition of the Australian team to the existing staff in the United Kingdom and Canada, Club Penguin will be better positioned than ever to support its Aussie players.


"By hiring Australians who really understand the local audience, we can provide parents in Australia added peace of mind that we're working hard to protect the interests and online safety of their children," says Merrifield.


Club Penguin optimizes the safety of its online environment through the use of aggressive filtering and live moderators to monitor chat and activity on the site and prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information.


Club Penguin is free to use and enjoy, however, a parent's email address is required to create a penguin, and parental permission is required in order to activate an account and allow play within the virtual world. Parents can also create their own account which allows them to logon and view their child's account history, change their child's password, choose a different chat mode and set the time of day and duration of their child's visit to Club Penguin. Club Penguin is free to use but those who purchase a subscription membership at $6.95 AUD per month receive additional benefits.


The opening of offices in Australia and the United Kingdom comes less than a year after the Walt Disney Company acquired Club Penguin. In addition to his responsibilities at Club Penguin, Merrifield also heads up development for all Disney's virtual worlds, which include Toontown Online, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow and the highly-anticipated Cars virtual world.



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