When you check online, there’s a lot of press releases, articles etc. on the success of Habbo Hotel worldwide. Lots of it is plain economic (not really our interest, nor our position to discuss), but there’s some more general articles & reviews available. Lets see if we can present a decent list of online articles, quotes and somewhat decent information.
“The message we want to communicate to parents is that it is okay to pay something to play games online if in return the user gets good and meaningful entertainment.” - Sampo Karjalainen, eFinland, 2004.
Which we should start with a note on the Wikipedia articles on Sulake and Habbo. Useful, we rely on Wikipedia in lots of respects. Enter angry Habbo users… these pages are at times compromised, so don’t trust every word. Here’s a couple more general articles:
“For Mobiles Disco the biggest infuences were Playmobil toys or old Commodore 64 and Spectrum games. Actually half of the people here in Sulake are somehow retro gaming-oriented. Short time objectives in games let you forget all the big, confusing questions in life for some time. Gaming makes life meaningful!” - Sampo Karjalainen, electrolobby, 2001.
Now for some really interesting facts:
“There are Habbo Raids on YouTube. I guess these are probably older users who used to think it was cool, but now are way too cool to come play. But they just want to get back inside. They’d probably be pissed about that. There’s a phenomenon around it, ‘Pool’s Closed.’ You can get a tshirt. It’s spread to other virtual worlds. And most people probably don’t know what it means, but it looks cool. I might buy one.” - Sulka Haro, AGDC, 2007.
Want to hear some about yourself playing Habbo, and how that’s perceived, analyzed by the media and Sulake ?
“You can’t expect to write content that’s cool for a London teenager from an office in Helsinki.” - Timo Soininen, iSight insights, June 2006 (3i invested in Sulake).
There’s been a Finnish study into fansites even, by Mikael Johnson and Kalle Toiskallio . Here’s a summary [full report linked as .pdf]. Quote: “We identified 173 Finnish fansites, of which we selected 23 fansites aimed at a large audience. These fansites publish news, hints, reviews, lists, graphics, and other articles about essential Habbo topics. Based on this fansite content, it was possible to distinguish 8 different user groups and 11 popular activities. Therefore we draw the conclusion that fansites are useful sources for user research as they complement other sources informing information systems design.” Nice, leave Habborator’s insanity out though :p.
“All along the seven year long history of Habbo there have been people who do not understand why anyone would buy virtual furniture - in other words they have misunderstood the whole concept of Habbo, which is not to sell virtual items, but entertainment and experiences.” - Christian Batist, Sulake blog, 2007.