Sulake is taking a pretty significant step to revitalize the Habbo Hotel brand by becoming an online platform for games. Their goal is to leverage their existing userbase to become almost like a mixture of Steam and Facebook, complete with in-game purchases, achievements, and the social features that keep users coming back.
To promote their new API, Sulake is now running a game development competition where they will give €5.000 to the winner, and €2.500 to the two runner ups. The competition is only to Finnish developers at first, which they say is to be sure that they have their API working perfectly and well documented before they have their global launch. The competition ends November 16th.
After news of layoffs at Sulake, the Finnish developer of the Habbo Hotel social community for teens, we spoke to CEO Paul LaFontaine, who told us that Habbo Hotel will further evolve into a platform on which third parties will be able to develop additional services. GamesIndustry International recently got up with Paul LaFontaine, where they discussed Habbo's market share and future plans with the service. The article is a good read if you're interested in the service, but below is a rundown of their stated plans.