The late 2012 shakeup over at Helsinki-based Sulake, the creators of Habbo Hotel, has been breeding new game companies. For those not versed in the comany’s history, Sulake saw good international success for years with Habbo Hotel, a sort of virtual chat and game platform for teens. But that came crashing down in late 2012 when UK’s Chanel 4 began calling the company a pedophile haven for failing to police the platform for sexual content. This caused Balderton Capital to exit their 13% share, and 3i to later leave their 16% stake. The company was eventually acquired by Elisa.
Former CEO Timo Soininen wasn’t present during this (somewhat final) chapter of the company’s history, but this shakeup freed up a number of his peers to start their own gaming companies. One such example is Small Giant games, which was founded about a year ago in Helsinki. Today Soininen announces he’s leaving his position at the mobile engagement marketing company Sunduka and is now joining Small Giant Games as CEO.
“I’m very excited to join the Small Giant team as the CEO and look forward to working full-time with the team. I have a long history of working together with some of the core team members already at Sulake, so I know a lot can be expected from this exceptionally talented and creative team”, Small Giant CEO Soininen says in a statement.
Not much about Small Giant’s first game has been released, except that they’re apparently building character-driven multiplayer mobile games for the casual plus audience. Their first game is expected to drop Summer of 2014. The core team is said to have “world-class talent in the areas of character and game design, multiplayer and advanced animation technology,” which also gives some hints about the game.