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Summary:

The company behind the popular teen-focused Habbo Hotel virtual world is to lay off 40 staff, according to tweets from affected employees an…

Habbo

The company behind the popular teen-focused Habbo Hotel virtual world is to lay off 40 staff, according to tweets from affected employees and reports in the Finnish media (via Arctic Startup). Sulake will shed about 20 percent of its global staff, with whom redundancy negotiations start on Monday. The company has yet to respond to our request for comment.

Arctic Startup reports, citing figures from Finnish financial service Kauppelehti, that for 2008 Sulake made revenue of

  1. To clarify the numbers a bit: the plan is to reduce to workforce of the Helsinki office by 40 people. The global figures are not yet decided (or at least not announced). The Sulake companies in Helsinki have approximately 200 employees (20% of 200 = 40). As you said, globally Sulake has about 300 employees.

    The Finnish law requires employee/employer negotiations before the company can lay off this many people. The end result of these negotiations can be that another solution is found and there's no need to fire all those people. But we'll see that in a month or so.

    – Visa (@roxeteer, whose tweet was mentioned in the article)

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  2. i think it sucks that habbok does not work cuz i got on 1 time and got cool stuff and it wot let me on anymore!!!

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  3. Tari Akpodiete Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Worldwide, it's probably going to be a lot more than the 40 reported at HQ. Each ‘property’ has moderators.

    For example. Habbo.ca has Canadian based paid part-time staff who help to keep the hotel safe. They watch for bad language, lewd behaviour, attempted luring of kids by adults, etc. So do Habbo.com, Habbo.co.uk, etc. Usually the ‘mods’ live in the country in which they work, although there is sometimes cross-over.

    Generally there 1 or 2 persons in such a role per 4 hour shift, and on a few busy sites, there are 2 or 3. Many of the habbo sites are open 24 hours, so that’s 6 shifts. Over the past few years, Sulake has been cutting back on mod staff, including making 1 person do the work of 2, or 2 people do the work of 4. I know because I used to work at Habbo.ca so I saw it first hand.

    Now, almost all the moderation jobs are being outsourced and will be done from one country, not in North America. Either Singapore or the Philipines. It’s uncertain how foreign language hotel moderation will be handled from such locations.

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