Habbo Investors Continue to Flee

Habbo Investors Continue to Flee

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Things appear to be going from bad to worse for the beleaguered kids' MMO Habbo.

The bad news for Habbo studio Sulake continued today as private equity group 3i, the largest single shareholder in the company, announced that it is dumping its 16 percent interest following an investigative report into the prevalence of pedophiles in the game.

"3i has actively supported the Sulake board in determining the right course of action in these very challenging circumstances," it said in a statement. "Following a board meeting today, we have resigned our board position and will cease to be a shareholder in the company."

The move follows a similar sale by Balderton Capital, the second-largest investor in Sulake, which unloaded its 13 percent stake in the company before the report even aired. Several major U.K. retailers have also stopped selling prepaid Habbo cards.

In the wake of the Channel 4 investigation, the U.K.'s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said that it has had concerns "for some time that websites designed for children and young people are vulnerable" to predators. NSPCC rep Jon Brown acknowledged that online predators can be "extremely skilled and extremely inventive" and said that it's ultimately up to parents to monitor what their kids are doing online, but added that the industry needs to take the issue more seriously.

"They're reluctant to," he said. "It's not very good publicity for them to say, 'This is a fantastic resource for their child, and they may also be targeted for abuse.'"

Sulake has decided to mute all conversations on the site while it reviews its long-term plan to improve security and protect its users. "This decision has not been taken lightly and underlines the company's continuing commitment to ensure that all our site users remain safeguarded from inappropriate behavior and conversations," CEO Paul LaFontaine wrote. "Our internal investigation is currently on-going, but we will be sure to inform all users of further developments in the coming days and weeks."

Source: The Guardian

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Maybe they can ask the Catholic Church for a bail-out?

Cue the wails a thousands of kids saying "WHY ARE MY CONVOS MUTED!?"

Pool's closed.

lacktheknack:
Cue the wails a thousands of kids saying "WHY ARE MY CONVOS MUTED!?"

It's kind of weird knowing more about what's happening with this game than the actual players...

Looks like they've hit the investment death spiral. One big investor pulls out, which drops the price, and other investors drop out hoping to minimize their losses and get out before the price drops further, and so on.

Habbo will be a shadow of itself, if not dead, within three months.

Hookah:
Pool's closed.

Christ I'm gonna start a tally of these jokes made in Habbo news updates.

OT: Yeh this is like watching a slowly dying cow. Kinda a shame really, Habbo was my first introduction to RPing.

I'm surprised it's lasted THIS long...

I still remember the days of standing in front of the ladder at the pool, blocking everyone from getting in...

No one ever figured out that there were multiple ways of getting in the pool...

Richardplex:

lacktheknack:
Cue the wails a thousands of kids saying "WHY ARE MY CONVOS MUTED!?"

It's kind of weird knowing more about what's happening with this game than the actual players...

That tends to be what happens when you follow a gaming news site. It'll be interesting to see their reactions when they find out the game has been muted "because pedophilia".

One person shouts paedophile and everyone else screams fire. Funny, C4 accused Second Life with the same shit.

I'm not exactly fond of Habbo, but I utterly hate the idea of a pedophile scare being used to kill a business. It's turning into a modern witch hunt, only instead of a mob of Christians being led by a priest it's a mob of illiterates led by the media, and everyone's just as terrified of getting caught in their crosshairs when they're hunting for a target.

I don't like this at all.

I've been messaging Paul Lafontaine about illegal casinos, operation of child sex rooms and other illegal activity since September 2011. Prior to that I was emailing Ex-CEO Timo Soininen. in 2006 Timo Soininen responded to one of my emails saying he would investigate the situation of child cyber sex. He ended up neglecting the children by doing nothing. He then ignored thousands of emails from hundreds of people up until 2011 when CEO - Paul Lafontaine took over this child brothel. After 6 years of witnessing some of the most disgusting behaviour I decided to start a twitter account called http://www.twitter.com/habboboycott several months before this issue hit the news.I was so disgusted by what I seen i was ready to dedicate my entire life to raise awareness about Sickos like Paul Lafontaine who many believe organize teams of spammers to gather teens within the network he controls to develope child pornography. Paul Lafontaine has made it his personal battle to ban anyone bringing attention to the sick problems within his community. Imagine sending him am email and within hours being banned for reporting this issue that could have been clearly prevented if anyone within this heartly organization cared. The fact is the people who own Habbo have known about the issue and have done nothing about it. They have actually contributed to the issue by releasing furniture that resemble sex toys, included sex rooms under the staff pick list and banned players who questioned why rooms like "Sex club" is the highest rated room on habbo. All Habbo staff and management should have been arrested locked away for life for knowningly neglecting a serious issue like this. Justice will prevail and Paul Lafontain, Timo Soininen and the rest of the owners will be arrested without a doubt!

It would seem that not all press is good press.

I'm not sure whether it's funny or sad that the investors are slowly jumping ship, and all are basically saying the exact same thing every time.

diceplaya:
I've been messaging Paul Lafontaine about illegal casinos, operation of child sex rooms and other illegal activity since September 2011. Prior to that I was emailing Ex-CEO Timo Soininen. in 2006 Timo Soininen responded to one of my emails saying he would investigate the situation of child cyber sex. He ended up neglecting the children by doing nothing. He then ignored thousands of emails from hundreds of people up until 2011 when CEO - Paul Lafontaine took over this child brothel. After 6 years of witnessing some of the most disgusting behaviour I decided to start a twitter account called http://www.twitter.com/habboboycott several months before this issue hit the news.I was so disgusted by what I seen i was ready to dedicate my entire life to raise awareness about Sickos like Paul Lafontaine who many believe organize teams of spammers to gather teens within the network he controls to develope child pornography. Paul Lafontaine has made it his personal battle to ban anyone bringing attention to the sick problems within his community. Imagine sending him am email and within hours being banned for reporting this issue that could have been clearly prevented if anyone within this heartly organization cared. The fact is the people who own Habbo have known about the issue and have done nothing about it. They have actually contributed to the issue by releasing furniture that resemble sex toys, included sex rooms under the staff pick list and banned players who questioned why rooms like "Sex club" is the highest rated room on habbo. All Habbo staff and management should have been arrested locked away for life for knowningly neglecting a serious issue like this. Justice will prevail and Paul Lafontain, Timo Soininen and the rest of the owners will be arrested without a doubt!

Yeak... yeah, that's going to be a hit over due diligence, when this comes to a head. All I'd heard about back in 2006 was that the mods were racist and gleefully banning any avatars with dark skin tones.

Also, and I really don't mean to be condescending here, but paragraphs would be nice, and really help with readability.

MrBrightside919:
I'm surprised it's lasted THIS long...

I still remember the days of standing in front of the ladder at the pool, blocking everyone from getting in...

No one ever figured out that there were multiple ways of getting in the pool...

Did you have an afro and suit...? :D

OT: I remember way back when I played Habbo. (Don't judge me, I was young). For every cool person you'd find, there'd be about 7 people either randomly insulting you, or trying to have cyber-sex with you. O_o

So I'm honestly not surprised companies are starting to pull out. It should've died long ago.

And who else is enjoying this a little too much for their own good. I don't even have anything personal against Habbo Hotel...

=y:

And who else is enjoying this a little too much for their own good. I don't even have anything personal against Habbo Hotel...

oh yes, please!

burn it down, burn it down!

Where will the pedophiles go now?

Evil Smurf:
Where will the pedophiles go now?

This is just begging for a hilarious follow-up, but dammit, I can't think of one.

mad825:
One person shouts paedophile and everyone else screams fire. Funny, C4 accused Second Life with the same shit.

I've been thinking the same thing. SL had to weather this particular storm back in 2007, but despite having user made content that would give the moral majority a heart attack they're in a much better position to defend against this kind of accusation, being aimed specifically at adults.

That said, I'll bet Linden Lab are watching very closely to see how far this story goes. I'd hate to see the media broadening the witchhunt now they've got a taste for blood.

I feel kind of sorry for Habbo. If this keeps up they're fucked, regardless of the accuracy or otherwise of the original news story on Ch4.

sky14kemea:

MrBrightside919:
I'm surprised it's lasted THIS long...

I still remember the days of standing in front of the ladder at the pool, blocking everyone from getting in...

No one ever figured out that there were multiple ways of getting in the pool...

Did you have an afro and suit...? :D

OT: I remember way back when I played Habbo. (Don't judge me, I was young). For every cool person you'd find, there'd be about 7 people either randomly insulting you, or trying to have cyber-sex with you. O_o

So I'm honestly not surprised companies are starting to pull out. It should've died long ago.

I had a suit actually...but no fro

Evil Smurf:
Where will the pedophiles go now?

Back to the chapels. Imagine all of them just waddling inside the church like umpa lumpa's in a row, A sight to see. Maybe we could get David Attenborough to document it?

Evil Smurf:
Where will the pedophiles go now?

It's a mash up between Club Penguin and Runescape. I can see the execs rubbing their hands with glee! It's good for business, paedophiles entice kiddies by buying ingame items for them.

antipunt:

Evil Smurf:
Where will the pedophiles go now?

This is just begging for a hilarious follow-up, but dammit, I can't think of one.

Apparently Tvtropes would be happy to help.

Evil Smurf:
Where will the pedophiles go now?

Nintendo MiiVerse

Danceofmasks:

Evil Smurf:
Where will the pedophiles go now?

Nintendo MiiVerse

I see it now
Pedo: why don't you connect with me child?......I am a friend
Child: YAY! I have friends

CharrHearted:

Evil Smurf:
Where will the pedophiles go now?

Back to the chapels. Imagine all of them just waddling inside the church like umpa lumpa's in a row, A sight to see. Maybe we could get David Attenborough to document it?

*read this in the voice of The walk of the David Attenborough*
See the pedophiles searching for a new breading ground, Notice the magnificent mustaches they all have

Seems more than a little exaggerated that pedophiles just happen to flock to this one particular game. Any game/website that allows social interation with young people would surely be just as likely a place to find such people?

Just seems a shame for a company to suffer for what could easily be a media scare story.

sky14kemea:

MrBrightside919:
I'm surprised it's lasted THIS long...

I still remember the days of standing in front of the ladder at the pool, blocking everyone from getting in...

No one ever figured out that there were multiple ways of getting in the pool...

Did you have an afro and suit...? :D

OT: I remember way back when I played Habbo. (Don't judge me, I was young). For every cool person you'd find, there'd be about 7 people either randomly insulting you, or trying to have cyber-sex with you. O_o

So I'm honestly not surprised companies are starting to pull out. It should've died long ago.

Oh, yeah! I forgot about the cyber-sexy people! That and the chat rooms. Ah, memories...

I, too, had an account and it was around the time I discovered there was such thing as playing/talking to someone in the world through your computer. I remember I thought the idea was awesome. And then someday, a girl invited me to her room to "show me how cool it was". Me, being a n00b, agreed. And I think I'll stop there.
Oh, wait. Then I quit after that terrifying incident.

But yeah, they should have closed that ages ago. I remember the Yahoo chat rooms were meant to role-play about videogames, comics, whatever in real time and all but the closed it as soon as a parent reported a cyber-sex incident. That was, what, 7 or 8 years ago? And I remember I thought Habbo and the Yahoo chat rooms were the same thing so...yeah, about time.

Hm, almost makes me wanna go back to Habbo hotel, create a random account and see the chaos that must be going on right now.
Almost.

*Plays Minecraft*

idarkphoenixi:
Seems more than a little exaggerated that pedophiles just happen to flock to this one particular game. Any game/website that allows social interation with young people would surely be just as likely a place to find such people?

Just seems a shame for a company to suffer for what could easily be a media scare story.

Well, literally the only thing on my radar for Habbo Hotel before this was the general unprofessional nature of the game's mods, so saying they were lacking in other ways isn't really surprising.

Further, and I'm speculating here, the non-violent nature of Habbo probably led parents to feel it was actually safe for kids... but I'm guessing.

MrBrightside919:
I'm surprised it's lasted THIS long...

I still remember the days of standing in front of the ladder at the pool, blocking everyone from getting in...

No one ever figured out that there were multiple ways of getting in the pool...

those were the good day...before this pedophile crap and 4channers being racist dicks and forming swastikas in the middle of the floor of common areas

Habbo was still around? Christ, I haven't looked at that site for years!

=y:

And who else is enjoying this a little too much for their own good. I don't even have anything personal against Habbo Hotel...

That would be me. They have become the EA of MMO's aimed at a teen audience, seeking the dollar over the smile. I rapidly lost interest after they merged all of the english-speaking hotels and moved over to Flash player, dumping the most popular way to interact with other users in the process

 

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