Sulake, the company behind the popular Habbo Hotel, a virtual world for teenagers with 14,600,000 montly unique visitors, has come out with a new service, Bobba Bar. Bobba Bar is virtual bar where, according to Sulake, you can meet and make friends. And it’s not just any virtual bar, it’s a virtual bar for 18-year-olds and over, so teenagers stay away.
Clearly, Sulake is going for a new market segment after conquering such a big chunk of the teen market with Habbo Hotel. I’m just not sure if big people will jump on the virtual world in the same way as teenagers have. I’m already realizing I spend way too much time in Facebook for no reason. Compared to wasting time in Facebook, Bobba takes a lot more effort is you plan to waste time there as well and I honestly just don’t have any. After all, I have a Twitter to attend to.
Now, in all seriousness, I’m sure there are people who find Bobba to be for them, but I just don’t think the number will ever get even close to the ballpark where Habbo Hotel plays in. That said, it might just well be that Sulake is just experimenting without any more expectations than I do regarding Bobba Bar, and if I’d be Sulake I would probably try it out as well given the success of casual games among adults. Sulake also touts the possibility to data people in the virtual bar, but its bit of a stretch to go there just to hit girls. Also, not surprisingly, in the near future Sulake plans to provide virtual content purchases inside Bobba Bar, so the business model is clearly there as well.
Bobba Bar has taken off nicely with some 45,000 accounts created in four days, but I wonder how many people come back after creating an account. I know I won’t. I tried to service with Nokia E71 and the experience might be a whole lot different if you’re using Bobba Bar with iPhone or iPod Touch. If you happen to own one I recommend heading to App Store to try it out (here). Me? I’ll keep waiting until Apple works out the iPhone 3GS backlog and starts servicing its customers again in Finland by actually restocking its distributors.