Hi Toontown fans -- this is Jesse Schell. You may have seen my red rabbit, Jaymo, running around Toontown sometime in the last 15 years.
I've been getting a ton of emails from Toontown fans, and I thought it might be useful for me to give some advice here, so that more people would hear about it.
First, let me say that I'm super sad about Disney's decision to shut Toontown. Toontown has been a big part of my life since 1998, when we first started working on it. To see it close is extremely depressing, when it means so much to so many people.
Next, I know that there are rumors going around about Schell Games buying Toontown. I can't really talk about this, but I will say that there are discussions going on about the future of Toontown, and whether companies external to Disney will be a part of that. Unfortunately, these conversations are likely to be slow, so we should all anticipate Toontown closing on the date that has been announced.
Does that mean you should give up? No way. Think of Star Trek. It was cancelled after being on the air for three years, and there was no new Star Trek for TEN YEARS. Why did it come back? Because the fans loved it so much, they had conventions, they wrote fan fiction, they did everything they could to keep the show alive in their hearts... and all that love paid off, and ten years later, Star Trek came back -- first as movies, but then as a new show. And now, forty years later, the Star Trek community is still going strong. I hope you don't have to wait ten years, but if Toontown really means something to you, and you aren't just a fair-weather fan, then do what you can to keep it alive! Here are my tips:
1) Keep the Toon spirit going on the web. Keep talking in the forums. Keep writing stories, keep drawing pictures, make your own Toontown indie games, whatever it takes!
2) Contact Disney A LOT. Send emails to any Disney execs or departments that you think might be relevant. Even better, send them actual letters! Draw them actual pictures! Emails are easy to send, and easy to delete, but when hundreds of actual letters start showing up, people really take notice. I can't give you specific addresses because that would be a breach of professional courtesy, but I'm sure with a little digging you can figure out some of the right people to contact.
3) Stage events. Pickets get attention. LA people, why not consider organizing a "save toontown" event somewhere near the Disney studios? Florida people, maybe have an event near DisneyWorld? NY People, why not have an event near the Times Square Disney Store? Dress in costumes, get the local media on you. It'll be fun (if you do it safely) and what have you got to lose?
4) Be creative -- do stuff that is safe, but attention getting and creative, to show the world how much you care about Toontown.
I can't say for sure that these kinds of things will work -- but they certainly can't hurt. If you make enough noise and get enough attention, it might be enough for someone to say, "You know... we should really give this thing a second look."
I wish I had a silver bullet (a platinum pie?) for you, but I don't. But if you care about Toontown, let Disney know about it, any way you can. They will be the ones who decide about this, ultimately, even if outside partners are involved, so do what you can to let them know you care, and how much you care.
Like fighting the Cogs, It is very possible this won't be a short-term battle, but a long-term war, one that will test your patience. But if you are patient, and you keep showing the world how much you care about being part of a game like this, Toontown may be able to rise again.
In the meantime, keep your Toon alive inside your heart. No one can shut that down.
I just have a few questions. I don't know if you will revisit the website after posting this but I hope that you do and respond to our questions.
1. What other games have Schell developed? You have earned a great deal of respect from me as of late and I want to support Schell games.
2. If you or another company manages to get TT or decides to remake the game a good way of making sure the community doesn't die is to release weekly or bi weekly snapshots of what you've done in game this week. Or just a preview of aspects of the game.
3. Do you really think that it'll take years? I mean that is a long time. Months or weeks. No problem!
4. As others have asked do you know anything about the Downtown Toontown rumour? Is that what you meant by 'the future of Toontown and whether other companies will be involved' I know you couldn't reveal much. Though a subtle hint would be nice ;)
5. Finally if Toontown was to rise again. Would we keep our toons? Or not?
Again I thank you for all you have done! Toontown will never die in my heart
Now is the time for the toons of the world to UNITE!
3. Yes, it might take years. It took me three years of pitching the idea for Pixie Hollow before I could get Disney interested, for example. I know it seems like forever. But, sometimes we need to miss things a little bit in order to properly appreciate them. I feel pretty sure that if Toontown were to get a real solid overhaul, it would take at least a year of development time. Keep in mind that it took about three years to get it from start of development to launch.
4. I can't talk about that.
5. I am sure that the folks running the game will carefully back up the database, in hopes that one day, the Toons can rise again. Whether that will actually happen is another matter, but putting in terms a Cog can understand, there is real cash value in the Toon database -- and Disney knows that. Think of it as a long term "Frozen Assets". :)
Originally Posted by jaymo on 09-04-2013, 04:13 AM (Post #94)