planet clue on Youtube posted a roundup of the many recreations of Disney’s defunct MMORPG Toontown Online, which range from strict remakes to expanded projects that add a considerable number of features to the original.
Fan-made MMORPG recreations and revivals, sadly, never manage to gain even a small fraction of the users of the originals. This is for several reasons, particularly the lack of ad budget, and a desire to stay partially under the radar, necessary to avoid legal reprisals from the original publisher–which, I remind you, in this case is Disney, the 2,000 lb. gorilla-mouse of lawsuits.
These F2P MMOs are a large part of many people’s childhoods though, and it’s inevitable that there be community interest in reviving them, if just to be able to visit old virtual stomping grounds once again. The people that I shed a tear for are those who played old Compuserve and AOL-era MMOs like Island of Kesmai (which exists in two fan-run forms, LOKFreedom and Lands of Kes) and, particularly, the original AOL-based Neverwinter Nights. But more on that tomorrow….
I think it’s possible that Disney will come to realize how many people have fond memories of Toontown Online, and also Club Penguin (which also has a fan revival), and bring them back after some time. They are not insensible to bringing in yet another revenue stream, and they’ve been open to revivals of other old video game properties of theirs like Ducktales Remastered. If that happens though, will they then launch their legal-nuclear missiles at the many fan remakes of Toontown Online? It remains to be seen.
The Death, and Many Many Rebirths of Toontown Online (20 minutes)