[MUD-Dev] Greetings from Habbo Hotel

Sulka Haro sulka at sulake.com
Thu Jan 30 12:06:35 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


Hi!

I've been itching over emailing mud-dev list for a long time and
finally got a couple good excuses for doing so. :) The two pieces of
news I wanted to share are:

We just won Prix Möbius Nordica award for Hubu. Hubu is a virtual
anti-substance-abuse project within the Finnish Habbo. Hubu is
visualized as a park with a yellow bus. For four hours each weekday,
a real expert from a local non-profit (EOPH ry) is logged into Habbo
and sits in the bus. There can be up to 10 people in the bus at any
time and only when the expert is present. The only allowed subject
of discussion is substance abuse. Since basic use of Habbo is free
and we don't require people fill in any personal details when they
register so they're basically anonymous, people talk about things
quite openly.

Hubu is now about one year old and it's going pretty strong. The
teenagers are actually queuing to get into the bus to be educated!
The EOPH people have been very satisfied about the project since
they've had trouble really reaching the young before and they've
been able to gather new statistics about all sorts of things they
could do before (regarding attitudes and substances used by the
young).

Even though the whole thing is a non-profit project, I think it's
been good for our business. Certainly there's a warm fuzzy feeling
for having done something good using gaming tech. :) And it's fun to
talk with people about how we're using virtual worlds for fighting
addictions instead of the addictivity of virtual environments. ;)

So while I'm having doubt of whether a Big Game Publishing
Corporation would do anything of this sort, I'd be very glad to see
similar projects appear in other MUDs.

The second piece of new is that we recently broke five million
registered characters in Habbo. Yes, one character != one person.
However, since Habbo has been constructed to encourage just one
character for each user, the number of characters / person is
actually surprisingly low according to our internal analysis (based
on a ton of statistics).

Assuming my knowledge of the usage numbers for other MUD's is up to
date, Habbo is the number two MUD ever regarding the number of
visitors, right after Lineage. This assuming Lineage is the only MUD
with users going to millions? Please correct me if my assumption
isn't right. For monthly visitors, let's just say we're bigger than
what the latest claims I've seen from EA about UO and Sims Online,
counted together.

Ok, bragging mode off and back to work. :) Please do email me if you
have something to ask.

sulka

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