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Habbo Retros are private servers that mimic the style of the an official Habbo Hotel site and is not operated or affiliated with Sulake. Operating a Retro Hotel is illegal due to the unauthorised use of the copyrighted material that is used to fully mimic the looks and operation of a real Habbo Hotel.
There have only been a small number of court cases where Sulake have taken action against these offending sites. Many of these cases have resulted in the sites in question being shut down. Some retros have more than 1000 users online, a clear indication that they impact the level of business Sulake is receiving.
In recent years Sulake are taking action against less than before and are concentrating their efforts on making the official hotels less easy to emulate and copy. They have been resonable sucessful in these efforts and some retro hotels are becoming outdated as they canno longer steal the files from official hotels.
Types of Retro Hotels
Old School retros are hotels that mimic the older versions of Habbo, usually from v1 - v17, hence the term "Old School". These retros are very simple and have many features of the older official hotels. Such as logging in through the client, changing clothes on thehotel view and the notable Habbo Console. These types of retros do not depend on a website and as they are based on older versions of Habbo, do not benefit from any current development by Sulake, and are therefore vunerable to old security issues, such as scripting.
These hotels are more up-to-date, they run like the latest version, or a reasonable new version of an official hotel. These retros are more complex and have many more features. Including more furni, similar website designs, housekeeping and enables and effects.
Roleplay Hotels, (also know as RP, for short) are hotels that run different server versions. In RP horels, players take part in various activities which mimic real life situations. Users can take part in gangs, jobs, organisations and jail.
Operating a Retro Hotel
Note: The creation and operation of a retro hotel is illegal as it goes against Sulake's copyrighted material. Promoting, creating and operating these hotels may lead to a ban from the official hotels and legal action.
Most Retro Hotels operate similar to this:
- An emulator - Runs the actual base code of the retro, handle events that take place on the client.
- A CMS (content management system) - This handles the dynamics of the website.
Advatages of Retro Hotels
- Retro Hotels often give players large amounts of currency, which is of course the main and most appealing benefit to everyone that plays Habbo. Often furniture and rares are at very low discounted prices, compared to an Official Hotel for example.
- Free VIP and staff permissions are often freely given out to players, which would never happen on an official hotel due to the fact that staff members are employees of Sulake and user safety is more important.
- Acess to usually, rare and used usernames. Often due to the fact that not nearly as many users are registered on retros as there are on Habbo.
- Retro hotels very rarely restrict or censor obscene langauage, this is something that is appealing to many users. Especially those who are over 18 years old.
Disadvantages of Retro Hotels
- Malware - A small amount of retro hotels are active to just simply install virsues, keyloggers and other bad things on the victims computer. Although extremly rare, this has not gone unknown.
- Downtime - Some hotels are not committed to service and are not obliged to be online 24/7, although many retros are online 24/7, stability issues and legal issues may prevent them beging online for long periods.
- Security - Owners of retro hotels and some members of staff have access to the user database, these means they can see usernames, emails, password and more information. It is common online safety knowledge to not use the same password for more than one site. If you used the same password as you have on habbo on a retro, the owner or a member of staff from the retro could acess your real Habbo account.
- Safety - Many retro hotels have arguments with eachother and often attack one another. This can lead to downtime, loss of data and breaches in the database so other people access your sensitive information.
Habbo Retros continue to be a controversial topic in the Habbo community. The main discussion on this topic is "should users get involved with these retro hotels?" there are many mixed views about this as many users believe there is not a significant risk to your computer, identity or overall safety, where other people may believe that the risks are not worth the gain.
As an attempt to educate users about the dangers of using retros, Habbo hosted a campaign in 2007 called Keep It Real. It provided tips on how to identify retros and hosted competitions–those who've won were awarded a badge.
Despite the campaigning by Sulake the amount of Habbo Retro's has tripled following The Great Mute due to more freedom when chatting.