Interesting news recently broke as Spike Hike has confirmed that he has chosen to leave Disney. However, is this a choice which he made or was he laid off like many other members of staff. Is this actually something which could possibly even benefit our game? What role does Polo Field play in this investigation? And finally, is there one massive coincidence that could explain everything? Today I am going to discuss my thoughts on Christopher Wayne Heatherly’s departure from the game which he has worked on for almost a decade.
However, before I begin, I want to make clear that Club Penguin Mountains is mostly my opinions, hence the term “discussions”, and this post is no different. I might say some controversial things, however that is my honest opinion.
Is Spike Hike’s Departure a Good Thing?
I’m sorry, but I believe so. The statistics prove it. To the left are the stats starting from the year which Spike Hike took over which was in 2013. However, that’s not what I care about, despite that this probably isn’t a coincidence. Let me give you an example of what I’m trying to say. I want to take you back to December 2014, where the Club Penguin app was launched for Android after a long time of waiting. Two days before the app launches, Spike Hike says this.
WHAT?! You’re the General Manager of Club Penguin and you literally only hear of this big milestone TWO DAYS before it comes out. You have got to be kidding me. That’s ridiculous! You’d think that Spike Hike would be more involved in Disney’s #1 Virtual World than that. Like, I’m happy that he got promoted to Head of Disney Mobile Gaming and all, but you cannot literally just abandon a game which you were put in charge of. How often do you go to the HQ to see the people who you are meant to be leading? Spike also suggested that Megg might be taking over the role.
I’m concerned if Club Penguin has no set leader. I go back to the point of Billybob leading the team to success. All the staff thought he was a great and motivational boss back then (read here). I’m pretty pleased and amazed that someone who was just an intern a few years ago is possibly the new leader of Club Penguin. However, that’s not all good. If Club Penguin messes up with Project Super Secret, then it’s Megg who’s going to get the backlash from the community.
I guarantee you that that will be the case. However, Megg was apparently the one who pushed for the Music Jam in November 2016, so hopefully she’ll listen to us even more!
But what this does mean is that we’ll have someone who has a full-time job of Club Penguin which will hopefully mean a better island for us all. Do I think Spike was a bad leader? In my eyes, he made some bad decisions and he put priority into the wrong things. Of course I’d prefer Billybob (wouldn’t we all) but Spike is not a bad leader, although many people are happy to see him leave.
To those people, I would like to remind you, Spike Hike is another person who has a family he needs to feed. If he did leave at his own will (we’ll come to this in a bit), then I suspect he already has a job planned, but if he didn’t, then I wish him the best of luck in the future at his new job with Universal. I just wish that he was a bit more dedicated to Club Penguin.
Why did Spike Hike choose to leave now or was he laid-off/fired?
For now, I’m going to assume that he chose to quit at his own will. I have a rather promising theory as to why he did this. Forty minutes before me writing this, Yahoo Finance published the following statement.
Heatherly will join NBCUniversal Brand Development September 30, and report directly to Klaseus.
(Disclaimer: Club Penguin Mountains found this information first (not Dj Stores or Peng50i) which is why we are not giving credit for this.
Using this statement, I did a lot of research (looked at Google) and what I found interests me. I cannot guarantee my theory is true, however I believe it is. Why do people work? To make money, right? The fact that he is reporting directly to another company makes him seem important, almost like he’s a Vice President of Marking. That pays £92K. That’s a lot of money, and I reckon that’s just a rough figure. Whilst money may seem the obvious reason, I cannot rule out whether or not he was laid off.
The reason I think this was because of Polo Field’s departure from the team in April 2015. In his goodbye post, he never actually said that he got laid off. The closest he said was this:
Just wanted to let you know that after 8 incredible years at Club Penguin, I’m going to be moving on.
However, soon after this, it was confirmed that Polo Field was actually laid off. Spike Hike also said something similar about “waddling on”.
The time has come for me to waddle on to my next adventure – and so I will be leaving Disney.
However, there are two problems with this theory of Spike Hike being laid-off. Firstly, out of all people, why would they lay-off the General Manager of Disney Mobile Gaming? That seems like an extremely important position. Then again, you’d also think Community Manager was pretty important.
Secondly, the most recent wave of lay-offs was in March of 2016. It’s now September. That’s probably the main reason why Spike Hike did not get laid off. We can never know whether or not he got fired as that stuff is behind-the-scenes, but I doubt he did.
Despite him not being laid-off, there is something that I can’t help think is not a coincidence with the timing of his departure. Once again, I’m going to compare it to Billybob’s departure. Literally a month after Spike Hike took over, there was a major Club Penguin update where loads of things got revamped. Many consider this the start of “New Club Penguin”.
Spike Hike has said that the Project Super Secret Beta is likely to come out next month. These two updates are major updates in Club Penguin’s history and they’re both happening a month after a leader leaves. Is that coincidence? I’m not sure. Perhaps Billybob and Spike decided that they did their bit and now that it’s done, it’s time to move on. I definitely suspect that Project Super Secret has some, if not, a large, part to play in Spike leaving the team.
Are the major updates the final clue which can explain the departure of two legends in our game? I think so.