TBT: When CP Went PG-13 (Operation Blackout)

Hello Ice Warriors

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! As the title implies, in this series of articles we will be going back in time to visit a very special memory from the Club Penguin game and its community, not to be confused with the Time Capsule series, which focused on the army aspect of things.

To begin this new series, we present to you The Day Club Penguin Went PG-13: Operation Blackout.

Operation Blackout was released November 14th, 2012, and was meant to last until December 4th, 2012, until it turned out to be the single most successful event in Club Penguin’s history. 1.8 million penguins logged on November 24th, 2012, the largest number of accounts playing at the same time in the entire history of the game, which warranted an addition of 2 more days to the party, having it last until December 6th, 2012.

Even though the event was held in November of 2012, its story dates back to 2010. The Club Penguin team in Canada, where the main HQ was located, used to hold a major meeting involving the entire staff team once every 3 months. In those meetings, they would map out events for the following 3 months including parties, puffles, ninja updates, EPF missions, and more! In one of said meetings at the end of 2010/start of 2011, they planned in excessive detail what they wanted to launch in January, February, and March, with some potential ideas for the remainder of the year. Usually, these were kept on a large whiteboard in the meeting room of the HQ and this time it ended up being leaked on Twitter.

Everything looked fine in this leaked image until the community read the words highlighted in red above under June 2011: “Blackout 2 weeks”. The theories started going wild with the most popular of them all being a doomsday secret mission where Herbert takes over the world and everything is dark. Now even though this is exactly what ended up happening, the “blackout event” turned out to simply refer to a break period for developers, where for those two weeks, no updates to the game’s client would happen.

However, the theories got so wild and popular on Twitter that the then head community manager, Polo Field, decided to tease the fans further, recording a video tour on the premises of the Canadian HQ, introducing the different heads of departments. They realized that regular tours of the HQ took place very often, and their staff would lose a lot of valuable time. Every time they had a new tour group come by, they would want an introduction from many key staff members who would have to pause their work for hours. This video proved to be much better than anticipated, so Polo Field decided to launch it publicly on YouTube for all to enjoy.

Polo Field ended up sneaking in a reference to the Operation Blackout theory, in which a staff member had a word document open, titled “Operation Blackout” which contained random gibberish with images of Klutzy, Herbert, and Ultimate Protobot. This ignited the rumors even more and some even considered it concrete proof that the event is confirmed to take place one day. However, the Club Penguin team had zero plans for such an event. Due to the popularity of this idea, they decided it was time to make it a reality.

The Club Penguin team then decided to give this event their all, and they ended up going too dark with it. For instance, all players woke up to the shocking news that Gary went missing on November 8th, 2012, as reported by the Club Penguin Times. The EPF went on high alert and in a later teaser video, a look through Gary’s security cameras revealed what really happened. It was the first dark and daring move on CP’s part for this event, see for yourself…

Footage of Gary’s glasses being broken, him being thrown around and then kidnapped, followed by the EPF HQ being blown up. The chilling words of “when the unthinkable happens” and “save the island”, as Herbert laughs in victory were the darkest the game had ever gone at that point, and I recall this very teaser sending shivers down my spine as a young kid back in 2012 and even now.

The E rating was given at first, before the video was taken down and then re-uploaded without this rating, hinting at how dark things were getting. And to top it all off, the Club Penguin team decided they were going full metal, which is something they had never done before. Every single soundtrack related to this event had metal music, which made it all the more eerie and epic.

A final fun fact: the “Ghosts Just Wanna Dance” music video, which was released a month prior to this party, included a sneak peek of Operation Blackout with Herbert holding a paper showing the sun crossed out with an X.

That concludes this week’s Throwback Thursday. Did you attend Operation blackout? What did you think? Let us know in the comment section below!


Ice Warriors Staff Member

One Response

  1. omggg i didnt even play the original cp but still ENJOY IT BEFORE I DESTROY IT😘


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