We’ve just gotten off the phone with Sulake’s CEO Paul LaFontaine about today’s announcements. He did not want to comment on the specifics of the announcement, but what we really wanted to understand is what is the future direction Sulake will take. LaFontaine stated that Sulake is modernizing their strategy and this involves changes to how the company currently operates. A big part of the company’s future will have to do with games and user generated content.
Sulake is also moving towards a model where their current Habbo community will further evolve into a platform on which third parties will be able to develop additional services on. LaFontaine did not want to comment at this moment on what kind of a time frame we are talking about at the moment. However, he did disclose that they are working with some third parties today already.
Something Sulake also wants to accomplish in the future is a better direction of traffic amongst their own service properties. Only recently has Sulake come out with mobile games and these will be a big part of that loop they want to create for users.
Like said, users will most likely see more games in Habbo in the future. The company does not plan on dramatically changing its strategy, but modernising it in a way that takes advantage of social opportunities and also in a way that leverages third party developers.
While he did not disclose any details about today’s layoffs, he did confirm that today’s announcement was about letting go of some of the manual functions of the company that do not fit into the new strategy. Furthermore, R&D functions will stay in Finland as before and most likely will not be affected at all by the today’s announcement.
LaFontaine is the new CEO that took over as Timo Soininen stepped down last September. LaFontaine has a background in social gaming from Playdom, where he held the role of Vice President of Global Distribution.
While layoffs and restructuring is always challenging for the individuals involved, we are happy to see Sulake redefine their strategy to better accommodate the future opportunities that lay ahead of the company.