According to Finnish publication Dome.fi, Sulake the creator of Habbo Hotel, will be laying off some 40-60 people from their workforce. In total, they have about 210 people working for the company so this is effectively 25% of their workforce. We also heard this from a different source, so the chatter is definitely picking up. Sulake.com was down as of just now and there is no official announcement on this so far.
In showing the door to 25% of their workforce, Sulake will also close all of their 11 country offices according to the article on Dome.fi.
The jobs will terminate as of March 16th, even those who have been permanently employed. The company won't have to go through the negotiation process large companies are required to follow in Finland as the employees are placed in a separate company that will be completely terminated.
The news on this are really scarce at the moment and naturally we'll try to bring you more as things emerge. If you have any information on the situation, feel free to get in touch with us at editor (at) arcticstartup.com
Update (14:15 GMT):
We were pointed to yesterday's tweet from the former CTO Osma Ahvenlampi, who has also resigned. Due to the update below - this has, according to Osma Ahvenlampi, nothing to do with today's announcements that have made news by Dome.fi.
It's official: my day job no longer is with @Habbo. Taking a moment to figure out what would the next exciting thing be.— Osma Ahvenlampi (@osma) February 15, 2012
Update (14.40 GMT): Osma Ahvenlampi replied to our tweet: @arcticstartup I have not been CTO at Sulake for the past 4 months. My exit has nothing to with today's rumors.
We apologise for mis-information on this part and have corrected the above text to reflect what we know as of now.
Update (15.05 GMT): We have tried to reach out to Sulake for a comment on this, but haven't been able to do so. Naturally, we will update the story once (and if) we hear back from them.
Update (15.20 GMT): Sulake has come out with an update on their blog by CEO Paul LaFontaine titled Sulake Consolidation:
Sulake has today begun the work to consolidate some of its manual processes and local operations. In doing this, the Habbo Hotel product will place more emphasis on being a platform for teens, and its priority will be to enable User Generated Content. The near future introduction of more social features and a gaming channel will continue to reinforce Habbo Hotel's position as a leading social platform for teens
Update (16.00 GMT): We've just come out with an article based on a quick interview with Paul LaFontaine, Sulake CEO. Read it here.