A possible picture of the broad state of the virtual goods industry, which is primarily made up of players who keep their financial results close: Sulake, the parent company of virtual world for teens Habbo Hotel, released its results, which show a significant upturn in revenue during the first quarter of the year. Sulake says its revenue — which comes primarily from the sale of virtual goods — jumped 25 percent to $20 million between January and March, compared to the same period a year ago. That marks “its best quarter ever.”
Contrast that with 2009, when Sulake’s results actually declined and the company laid off at least 40 employees. Sulake said its revenue was $60 million in 2009, below the $74 million it reported in 2008 — numbers which it said were affected by a technology transition and “difficult economic conditions.” The company says Habbo Hotel has about 15 million unique users, up from 11.5 million a year-and-a-half-ago.