Habbo Hotel Restructure Costs 60 Jobs

Habbo Hotel Restructure Costs 60 Jobs


Child-focused social game Habbo Hotel wants to refocus on its core strengths.

60 jobs will be lost in the next six weeks, as a result of a restructuring of kid-friendly Habbo Hotel. The developer, Sulake, only had 130 employees to begin with, so this represents a 45% cull.

"Habbo is going back to its roots," claimed Sulake CEO Paul LaFontaine, as he described the restructuring plan. LaFontaine wants Habbo Hotel to refocus on what he describes as the game's core strengths: "the friendship features inside Habbo, and the moderation features for keeping it safe."

The job losses are part of a scheme that will see content development pass from in-house teams to third party developers. LaFontaine hopes that the lure of being able to reach 12 different countries will bring third parties to Sulake, despite the Habbo brand being tainted by safety issues.

Habbo's safety - or the lack of it - became the focus of a news exposé in June. The social game was labelled a "pedophile haven," and shortly afterwards advertisers began fleeing the company in droves. Its two largest investors, private equity group 3i and Balderton Capital, both dumped their stock holdings.

LaFontaine claims that the worst is over, and that earnings have risen to approximately 75% of the monthly revenue Habbo used to generate before disaster struck.

Source: VG24/7


Habbo Hotel is child-focused?

I mean, I get that they market toward children and think that children are a part of their market but I never really considered it to be "child-focused", nor would I ever let any of my children anywhere near it.

I'm sure PaPal would have been willing to advertise with them.

Habbo Hotel was already child focused, just in the wrong way. Kind of why it was called a pedophile haven.

Now I'm going to ask the forum here, anyone else miss Coke Music?

No no no! You don't get rid of employees; you hire /b/lackup! I thought you'd have known this by now, Habbo Hotel.

Wait, investors only just found out about this in June? Habbo's bad reputation has been known for a long time. Not only was it a scuzzy meeting hub, but the only real value it ever had was being a symbol of 4Chan (the infamous "pool's closed" meme). Unless they've suddenly reworked the entire game, that stigma is always going to stay with them.

Habbo Hotel was already child focused, just in the wrong way. Kind of why it was called a pedophile haven.

Now I'm going to ask the forum here, anyone else miss Coke Music?

Holy crap, someone else remembers Coke Music. I'm shocked. I actually liked that game a lot more than Habbo. If only because you could make your own music and the graphics were somewhat better.

Shame it doesn't exist anymore.

Seems a bit insane to drop that much of your staff.

Especially when you have a "game" as plagued with problems as Habbo.

With all the layoffs, I wonder if they had to close the pool....

Me, some random guy, and my brother were once part of the game sitting next to each other just to troll other people's comments and spelling.

It was really fun, but that probably wasn't the intended use.

I sure do miss those "pool is closed due to aids" and "desu desu" raids on Habbo Hotel.

I honestly never saw the point to Habbo Hotel, basically a graphical chat channel with a microtransaction system attached to buy increased personalization.

The raids on Habbo are pretty much ancient history, and as far as the Pedos go, that shouldn't surprise anyone because that's going to be an issue of sorts with any game or service where children hang out.

Habbo is also pretty old, so it going out of business is nothing special. Personally I'm a bit surprised that the company hasn't decided to drop it, and develop/launch something new.

Child-focused social game Habbo Hotel...

I tee-hee-d....



Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
Register for a free account here