In the face of the many reactions from the community about the future of Habbo, fansites invited Sulake employees to interview and thus clarify to users some of the main issues of the moment. Our invitation was accepted by Habbo's management board, who answered our questions.
The mediation of this interview was carried out by Bektaş55
HABBO MANAGEMENT BOARD INTERVIEW
What can we expect from Habbo in 2021?
We’re super, super excited for the future of Habbo in 2021 and beyond. Players in the community should be too! There are brand new features on the way in 2021 that we KNOW the community will be really excited about. (News: recycling is making a comeback!)
We’re also SUPER excited about the new Unity client being available on mobile devices as well as on desktop. This new cross-platform functionality is a huge improvement for the game. We expect to have that ready for players in early 2021.
The number one, MOST important thing to know is that our community can expect a game that is regularly updated and added to. The community can expect a much bigger, more comprehensive Habbo, where we'll continuously introduce new features and updates. While we can’t share anything specific just yet, we’re confident that the modernised version of Habbo and the vastly improved cross-platform experience will make Habbo better than ever before, on every platform.
While Sulake invests in attracting new players, Habbo still has an active base of veteran players, usually opposed to major changes, which has a strong influence on fansites, official projects and social networks. How does Sulake deal with this issue?
We aim to please all Habbo users, both current and new. By introducing new features and changes to existing ones, our aim is to improve the existing Habbo experience, make it competitive with contemporary games, and as a result make it more attractive for the next generation of gamers. While some people like the changes and some don’t, unfortunately, it’s impossible to please everyone.
However, we do listen to our community’s feedback and act upon it when it seems we’ve introduced or changed a feature that eventually the majority of users don't like. This is happening right now with the beta and we hope it’s clear to the community that we’re not only listening but acting on their feedback and opinions. We’re confident we can find the middle ground between the needs of the existing community and our goal of ensuring the long-term future of Habbo.
Habbo has been hidden in the media for the past few years: there are no more advertisements on TV or on the Internet itself. Can this change from the new version?
This is a question more about what Sulake spends its marketing budget on, and we don’t share or comment on our business decisions in this area.
Loot-boxes is a controversial topic inside and outside Habbo, not only by players, but also by medical and child protection authorities. What can you say about that?
Majority (70%) of the Habbo users are over 18 year olds. While there are some items that have very different probabilities of being obtained within Habbo, we are very stringent when following the rules and regulations of each country we have players in. This is why we sell certain items individually in our French and Dutch-speaking hotels.
Also, for Habbos playing in countries where the sale of this sort of item is permitted, we’re very clear about what the probabilities of getting each item is. Lots of toys companies sell toys that contain random items – it’s a popular and widespread mechanic and one we will continue to have in Habbo until regulations change.
When did Sulake start working on the new version Habbo? Some think it's a bit late as one of the major functions of the game, like trading, is missing.
We started work on the new client in 2019. Like many games, we’ve experienced setbacks and delays. Rebuilding a 20-year-old, rich in content, complex game has proved to be more difficult than originally anticipated. However, we’re pleased that we’re at the stage where we have a viable version of the game to play before support for Flash is withdrawn at the end of the year.
It’s also important to remember that trading is not missing: it’s just going to be different in Habbo 2020.
Will the new version of Habbo allow piracy servers to get codes?
Preventing our assets being shared and/or stolen is a priority for us and we want to prevent it. Once we have got the Unity client to a satisfactory state next year, preventing asset theft is one of our focus areas.
Which Azerion companies did Sulake collaborate with?
All Azerion companies share ideas, strategies, and best practices. Because there are other social games in Azerion, this consistently proves to be helpful. It’s helpful even for other companies not necessarily similar to Sulake.
Finally, what message would you like to leave for the players?
We’d like to thank members of the community for their continued support and for providing constructive feedback since the beta launch. We also hope that they can see that we ARE listening, and that while we’re not able to implement every single change they want,, several important changes have been made as a direct result of user feedback. We also ask for patience from our users – implementing changes may sometimes take time!
While we really do get the community’s worries and concerns about how certain features are changing, we’re confident that Habbos will understand that we’re focused on finding a middle ground between the needs of the community and the long-term health of the game. In order to have a modern, competitive, and financially viable product, these changes are necessary.