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Panfu was a virtual world targeted to kids aged 6 to 14 where you could chat, play games and roleplay.

History

The development of Panfu, (then called "Pandaland") started in September 2007, a month after Young Internet was founded.[1][2] The virtual world was released in beta November 2007 and was available only in German. Panfu released December 2007, after a month of beta testing. More languages, such as English, were added from 2008 to 2009.

The only rooms available were the town, the ice cream parlor, the pet shop, the gift shop, the library, the jungle, the sportsfield, the gymnasium, the swimming pool and the volcano.[3]

When the new languages were added in 2008, Panfu's player-base exploded in size. The game quickly became a rival to Club Penguin in Europe and was the target of several raids by its users. Panfu's best year was 2010.[4]

Panfu began losing popularity in 2013 mostly due to Goodbeans' own actions, such as trying to cut expenses by firing developers in December 2012, and ending the constant television-ads. The first chat to be shut down, was the Polish-chat, which was shut down on March 15th, 2013 due to a shortage of moderators, and after a series of protests. Soon after, the chats of other language versions followed. By 2014, there were few active users. The last Panfu update was in December 2014, when Moritz left Goodbeans.[5][6] Goodbeans applied for bankruptcy in March 2015[7]. The Panfu-servers expired in November 2016 after being abandoned since 2015, marking the end of the official version of Panfu. The former CEO, Verena Pausder, is now the head of a mobile gaming company called Fox and Sheep.[8] She has not expressed interest in opening Panfu again, and have blocked anyone mentioning it to her.

Features

  • Panfu had a blog which was frequently updated until 2013, with the last update in December 2014. The blog was written by Max and Ella, a reporter-duo who often got themselves into trouble. Occasionally, other Pandas such as Kamaria and Bookworm also made appearances.
  • Panfu offered 15 different languages of the game.
  • A premium membership, Gold Panda, offered special features for those who bought it. Among them were the abilities to buy clothes and furniture, weekly gifts and in some cases the possibility of accessing VIP areas (such as San Franpanfu, when it was still under construction).
  • Pandas without membership could occationally get clothes and items from events and quests.

Private Servers

A Private Server is an online multiplayer game that is not part of Panfu but uses .swf files from Panfu, a database and a server emulator. Private servers are not affiliated with or endorsed by Goodbeans GmbH. Private Servers are the only way to play Panfu after its closure.

Images

References

  1. com.pandaland is the name inside the Panfu-source
  2. InformationServer title was pandaland.com
  3. File:2007map.jpg
  4. Google Trends
  5. The flashclient date, 20141201 (yymmdd)
  6. https://www.linkedin.com/in/moritzhohl/
  7. Danilo Hoffmann's Linkedin
  8. https://www.linkedin.com/company/fox-&-sheep