The Club (Nickelodeon)
|Type of site||Online games|
|Launched||January 30, 2007|
The Club (previously known as Nicktropolis) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that is part of Nick.com. Construction of the game began in November 2004, eventually being launched to the public on January 30, 2007. Recently the game shut down permanently and is now referred to by The Club (currently under beta testing). Before that, the game grew in popularity, and had over 8 million users. The game has received positive ratings in terms of appropriateness for children, with mixed critical reviews.
The game was divided into five main parts: TeenNick (containing rooms with Teenick themes), Downtown (an area with chat areas and stores for purchasing items) The Pier (containing boardwalk-style games), and Nicktoons Boulevard (containing rooms with Nicktoons-related themes). The game also contained a section designated for advertising known as the "Plaza". This section included advertisements for Betty Crocker products Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Gushers, Sega's iDog, the Wii, and The Legendary Starfy, among others.
The game also used its own currency, known as NickPoints. These were obtained by walking to floating "blobs" worth a set amount of NickPoints. NickPoints could be used to buy items, which varied from furniture to clothing, in the game's stores. They are now called Club Points.
Construction of Nicktropolis began in November 2004, by Nickelodeon's developers Mark Zadroga, Alex Westerman, Christopher Romero, Deborah Levine, Patrick Dorey, Sean McEvoy, John Hazard, and Jason Root, using the TheoSDK and TheoAvatarSDK engines and was discontinued in 2010. The game was launched in early 2006 with no advertising.
From August 18, 2006, to January 6, 2007, the game was closed to the general public. Prior to this release, almost 3,000,000 children had tested the game. In March 2007, the game was remodeled and given a new logo, and on May 11, 2007, the home page was remodeled to fit in with Nick.com's new look. On June 24, 2007, the game was featured in The New York Times, with a quote stating, "Pre-teenage viewers have a virtual playground to call their own." 
The Nicktropolis Newsletter was launched in September 2007, as an e-mail service to players. Also, advertising was added in November 2007 (see below). As of July 3, 2008, Nicktropolis had over 7,000,000 registered users.
Beginning in July 2008, the developers introduced daily events on weekdays. Although it appears they are leaving those weekly events now, and beginning new events.
On August 5, 2008, the "Nicktropolis Blog" was introduced. The blog posts are made using the Nick.com message boards.
An alpha of the game was released in early 2006. The first beta was released in June 2006. Then, from August 18, 2006, to the second beta's release date on January 6, 2007, the game was closed. Eventually, on January 30, 2007, the game was released to the public.
Nicktropolis is now going though major changing and developing. The friends lists and NickPoints of anyone who had an account will all be deleted when Nicktropolis is finished. With this new change, Nick is improving their virtual apparel, items, chat dictionary, and more to make the new Nicktropolis better. They also are fixing any glitches before they release it to the public. Nick also hopes this will attract more viewers to their TV stations and their websites.
The new Nicktropolis has been renamed The Club, and NickPoints have changed to Club Points. The new Club Points have the same value as the old NickPoints. The Club (MMORPG) launched Friday, March 19, 2010. Despite being said to be "improvements", many former NickTropolis fans have been angered about how it was transformed into The Club. Groups on social networking sites have created webpages demanding Nicktropolis to return and The Club to be gone.
It was known that the game would have advertising by launch:
|“||We don’t believe in having one huge portal. We just want there to be linkage among the sites and complementary experiences. That’s why we made sure users can access Nicktropolis through a stand-alone site as well as through Nick.com. In terms of advertising, there are many things that we can’t anticipate when it comes to how kids will use it. We want to see what happens and then take our cues from that, as opposed to imposing a structure on it for advertisers and users that might not make sense.||”|
—Jason Root, vice president of Nick.com, January 29, 2007
- Shields, Mike (2007-06-18). [Closed :January 2010 http://www.adweek.com/mw/news/interactive/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003538925 "Nickelodeon Launches Nicktropolis Web Playground"]. AD Week. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- "It's a kid's life in new virtual world". Reuters. 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "Nickelodeon Launches Nictropolis - A Quick Look Under The Hood". Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- "Nicktropolis Population stats on the homepage". Nickelodeon. 2008-03-01. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "Nicktropolis.com - Website Review (from CommonSense)". Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- Mike Jovel (2007-01-29). "Parents' Choice Awards". Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- Shields, Mike (January 29, 2007). "Nickelodeon Launches Nicktropolis Web Playground". MediaWeek. Archived from the original on 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
- Itzkoff, Dave (2007-06-24). "Nictropolis in the New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- Joanna Roses (2007-06-18). "Nickelodeon's Nicktropolis Reaches Almost 4 Million Unique Registered Users in Just Four Months". Press Release. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
- "Nicktropolis Blog - Daily events". Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- "Nicktropolis Blog - An overview". Retrieved 2008-08-17.
- Nicktropolis (2008-03-13). "Nickelodeon Launches The Big Green Help - An Environmental Pro-Social Initiative for Kids This April". Nickelodeon. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- Mike Shields (2007-06-18). "Nickelodeon Launches Nicktropolis Web Playground". AD Week. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- David Kaplan (2007-01-29). "Nickelodeon Jumps On "Virtual City" Bandwagon: Nicktropolis For Tweens". Retrieved 2008-08-15.