In the realm of online gaming, numerous games have faded into obscurity due to the passage of time, original development teams and publishers deciding to discontinue their work on a project and so forth. However, devoted fans occasionally breathe new life into these forgotten classics, preserving the shared experiences and memories for old and new players alike. A prime example of this resilience is the game Toontown Online. Its successor, Toontown Rewritten, has been kept alive and thriving by the efforts of its passionate community. This year, fans are gathering to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original game’s launch in a special event named ToonFest: Birthday Bash.
ToonFest: Birthday Bash is an in-person festival organized by Toontown Rewritten for fans of the game. This year’s event features a unique virtual panel, “Behind the Tooniverse: 20 Years of Toontown” to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Toontown Online. This isn’t just fans being around a table and talking. Among the panelists are game industry veterans who helped build the MMO.
Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games and a former Imagineer, will discuss the origins of Toontown Online. A roundtable discussion will follow, featuring key contributors to the game’s development:
- Mike Goslin, Disney Online Vice President (2000-2009)
- Gyedo Jeon, Senior Programmer (2007-2013)
- Bridget Konopka, Associate Art Director (2003-2013)
- Shawn Patton, Design Director (2002, 2008-2009)
- Jesse Schell, Creative Director (2000-2005, 2008-2009)
- Joe Shochet, Creative Director (2003-2009)
- Ellen Steuer, Community Manager & Producer (2003-2008)
- Regine Weiner, Community Support Lead (2003-2006)
The panel will be broadcast online and in-person starting at 8.30PM EST on 25 May 2023 at MomoCon in Atlanta, Georgia.
Joey Ziolkowski, Creative Director of Toontown Rewritten, expressed enthusiasm for the event.
ToonFest: Birthday Bash, taking place from 25-28 May, expects hundreds of Toontown fans from around the world to be in attendance. The event will feature a plethora of Toontown-themed activities, including contests, character meet-and-greets, free game merchandise, behind-the-scenes panels, and more. All of these will be held at their 4000-square-foot booth in the Gaming Hall of MomoCon.
Toontown Rewritten, a free-to-play revival of Disney’s Toontown Online, is funded entirely by its volunteer team and contains no subscriptions, advertisements, or other forms of revenue. It should be noted that the game is not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company and/or the Disney Interactive Media Group.