Habbo abandons Web3 'jargon' but remains all-in on the blockchain

Habbo NFT avatars.
(Image credit: Sulake)

Habbo, formerly known as Habbo Hotel, went all-in on the Web3 nonsense in 2021 with the announcement of the Habbo NFT project in 2021. Its first offerings were Habbo Avatars, which quickly sold out 10,000 randomly generated NFT avatars, before moving on to NFT furniture and other cosmetics.

You can see why publisher Sulake thought this idea might be a winner, and it certainly wasn't alone. 2021 was a bit of a peak for companies getting on-board with various Web3 ideas, before 2022 saw the wider crypto ecosystem hit by crisis after crisis, exposing various schemes for the cash grabs they were.

Habbo's model seemed relatively successful from the outside, probably because a game about collecting cosmetic items, decorating rooms and socialising is a natural fit for 'unique' items. And the company isn't moving away from the items itself. What it is doing is re-branding the whole thing and moving away from Web3 terminology in favour of the catch-all label of Habbo Collectibles.

The company says it's "changing the way in which we talk about and present Habbo’s NFT items and features." The new branding is being rolled-out over Habbo's website and various social channels and also seems to be part of a move to isolate Habbo itself from Habbo X: the latter is a version of Habbo, currently in an alpha test phase, that is built on play-to-earn principles. The Collectibles branding will be replacing all Habbo X branding, except when the company's "promoting Habbo X-specific features and releases."

Habbo says it's revised "text and terminology" around Collectibles and will be making "broader changes" to the way it markets and releases the items. Most notably: "in the majority of our marketing and communications we’ll be moving away from jargon like 'NFT', 'Web3', 'blockchain', etc."

So no more Web3 word salad, but don't confuse that with Habbo abandoning Web3 principles and tech. The Collectibles remain NFTs by another name, Habbo X remains in development, and its various offerings remain tied to either the Ethereum or Immutable blockchain.

This is however reflective of consumer confusion over what these technologies offer, and arguably also shows that the specific "jargon" Habbo refers to is becoming more hindrance than help. So Web3 technologies aren't going away: companies just don't want to associate their products with the reputation Web3 has.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."