Club Penguin, the virtual playground for kids aged 6 – 14 has finally found a buyer with Disney for $350 million in a cash payment and an opportunity to earn out an additional $350 million between now and 2009. The Internet was flooded with rumours of a purchase by Sony back in May 2007 for $450 million. The site was launched in 2005 by Lane Merrifield, Dave Krysko and Lance Priebe in British Columbia and has grown their membership to over 700,000 each paying a subscription fee of $6 (monthly) or $58 (annually).
The potential here is huge now that Club Penguin is behind the Disney family which includes integration of the existing paid membership based and the speculated 12 million total active users. The three founders will remain with the company as part of the Disney team.