Friday, June 09, 2006

Habbo Hotel should be in Dubai with Armani



Mashable reports that Habbo Hotel, the highly popular cartoonish virtual world for chatting, is on track to hit sales of $77 million USD. That's 77,000,000 dollar bills in sales for what is essentially an online messaging service. I have the feeling this is flying WAY under the radar of a lot of marketing folks, although there are advertisements for real world products in game. Luckily, advertisers are quickly catching on to this area. I expect to see a lot more action in the next year from major brands as the buzz circulates.



Interestingly enough, Habbo Hotel doesn't make money by selling memberships or land like other online games. Habbo Hotel makes money by charging users for money. Users can purchase in-game currency, or "coins", with a credit card, debit card or cell phone. A coin costs about twenty cents and users purchase items in-game with coins.

I've posted on Second Life several times before and I firmly believe that "virtual worlds" can become a prevalent platform for interacting with the web besides straight browsing. Second Life is already capable of displaying blogs, flickr photos, skype services, video broadcasts, browsing the web and in-game chatting. The word is that Second Life will be announcing a built-in web browser soon (the way to browse right now is through a hack). Imagine being able to where a dress in Second Life and having it sent to you in real life from the in-game retail outlet!

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