Sulake (Finnish for fuse) is a multi-million dollar multimedia company based in Helsinki, Finland. It was founded by Sampo Karjalainen and Aapo Kyrölä in 2000. Sulake's main focus is virtual worlds, casual multiplayer games and social networking. The corporation's current CEO is Antti-Jussi Suominen who was appointed the position in 2013, after Markku Ignatius completed his interim acting CEO period. The company is headquartered in Finland, supported by a social media center based in London and a user care center in Madrid. There are roughly 50 personnel globally. In early 2013, Sulake was acquired by the Elisa Group, but continues to run as an independant company.
The company's first project, Mobiles Disco, was intended to promote a Finnish rap group called Mobiles in 1999. As the site grew in popularity, the (Finnish) rooms were swamped with foreigners, so an English international version was created. This made Karjalainen and Kyrölä wonder about possibilities for financial success. It is believed that Dee 'Daisy' Edwards sold the rights to the early 'Habbo Hotel' brand back. The user was known daisy, from the United Kingdom hotel. It was rumored that such rights were sold for nearly one million pounds, paid by investors within Sulake. Sulake then sold the concept to the Finnish telecom giant Elisa Oyj through the advertising agency Taivas. In August 2000, Hotelli Kultakala (Hotel Goldfish) was launched as part of Elisa's portal, which is now the foundation release of Habbo Singapore.
Karjalainen and Kyrölä then created an online multiplayer game called Lumisota (Snow Wars). The game is similar and is now what Habbo's Snow Storm game is based on. The game was a further success and became associated with Radiolinja, a Finnish telecommunications network, which Elisa Oyj has invested in.
Sulake then was approached by clients, such as Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom and Coke Music, which is now known as MyCoke. Karjalainen and Kyrölä assisted their clients with these projects, but now Sulake's main focus is Habbo.
Sulake had suffered extreme losses within the past several years. The Chinese hotel brand was forced to close after high operation costs, and conflicts regarding Shockwave in the Republic of China. Soon after this closing, word was released that three (3) of the Habbo offices were to close in Europe. Although the local hotels did not cease operation, the local staff were terminated. It is believed three non-English hotels operate from one standard location. With this being said, another cut was made. [Habbo.ru] ceased operation, along with a local office closure. Users on the Russian hotel were given a voucher code which could have been redeemed on the United States hotel.
- Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 EMEA list ranks Sulake as the 12th fastest growing technology company in Europe.
- Habbo ES – Chavales Awards, “Best Private Initiative”, May 2010
- Habbo ES – ‘Best Website of the Last 20 Years’, State Secretary of Communications and Information Society, November 2009
- Habbo UK – Number one in the Media and Entertainment category, in the Revolution Awards, March 2009
- Habbo UK – Most Innovative Launch Campaign 2009, in The Media Guardian Innovation Awards, March 2009
- Habbo - Netherlands – Best community site of 2008 in Website of the Year Awards. December 2008
- Habbo – Australia – Best Food and Grocery and Best One Off Media Innovation in Media Federation Awards. October 2008.
- Habbo Hotel - Germany - Best Community site of 2007 in Website of the Year Awards by MetrixLabs. December 2007.
- Habbo Hotel - Australia - Best Youth Site in the Australian Net Guide Web Awards. March 2007.
- Habbo Hotel - Germany - Best Entertainment site of 2006 and Most Popular Entertainment site of 2006 in Website of the Year Awards by MetrixLabs. December 2006.
- Habbo Hotel - Italy - Best Community Website of 2006, in Website of the Year Awards by MetrixLabs. December 2006.
- Habbo Hotel - Grand Prix, main award, Prix Möbius Nordica 2006.
- Habbowood - Best Entertainment Integrated Ad campaign, Internet Advertising Competition (IAC), Web Marketing Association. March 2006.
- Habbo Hotel - France - Best Online Game in the category "Jeu en ligne" in Prix Les Adélouzes® 2006. March 2006.
- Habbo Hotel - France - Silver in the Interagir section, "Clics d'or" Interactive competition, May 2006.
- Habbo Hotel - Australia - Site of the Year and Best Kids Site in the Australian Net Guide Web Awards 2005. March 2006.
- Habbo Hotel - Canada - Silver in The 2005 Media Innovation Awards in Canada for Habbo Hotel/Sprite advertising campaign.
- Habbo Hotel - Spain - The Best Entertainment Web Site in Spain, AUI (Spanish internet users association), Mundo Internet 2005 Congress, 2005
- Sulake - Ranked in 8th place in Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) program. November 2005.
- Sulake - Best E-Commerce Company, SIME'05 (Scandinavian Interactive Media Event) Stockholm, November 2005.
- Habbo Hotel - Best Entertainment Site, SIME'05 (Scandinavian Interactive Media Event) Stockholm, November 2005.
- Habbo Hotel - Golden Nica in Net Excellence (one of the main awards), Prix Ars Electronica 2003 in Linz, Austria.
- Habbo Hotel - Best e-entertainment content producer in the World Summit Award (WSA) event in Geneva December 2003.
- Elämä On Parasta Huumetta ry (Life tastes better without drugs): InfoBus/ Habbo Hotel - Best in Education, Prix Möbius Nordica 2003, given the possibility to participate in Prix Möbius awards in Athens in 2003.
- Lumisota (Snow war game for mobile operator Radiolinja) - SIME 2000 (Scandinavian Interactive Media Event): Most fun and innovative application.
- Hotelli Kultakala - One Show Interactive New York: Silver Pencil, 2000
- Habbo FI – Web Service of the Year, Voice.fi Web Awards 2009, January 2010
- IRC-Galleria – Web Service of the Year, Voice.fi Web Awards 2009, January 2010
- Sampo Karjalainen & Aapo Kyrölä, the creators of Habbo Hotel – Nokia Foundation Award, November 2008.
- Sulake & IRC-Galleria, Best media idea, Bronze Effie in the Effie Awards. October 2008.
- Sampo Karjalainen & Aapo Kyrölä, the creators of Habbo Hotel – Finnish Engineering Award 2006.
- Habbowood, Best viral campaign, Grand One national competition for online media. March 2006
- Sampo Karjalainen & Aapo Kyrölä, the creators of Habbo Hotel - Finland Prize for pictural art, for a promising breakthrough from the Ministry of Education.
- Habbo Book - Silver in publishing graphics in Vuoden Huiput 2004, the annual competition of The Association of professional graphic designers in Finland
- Sulake - INNOFINLAND Provincial 1st prize, 2004, Helsinki
- Mountain Dew Campaign / Habbo Hotel - Bronze Pixel, RE: THE BIG ONE 2003
- Sulake - Best Early Stage Company, Software Industry Award 2003
- Coke Studios - Golden Pixel: Best Rich Media, Silver Pixel: Best B-to-C -service, RE: THE BIG ONE 2003
- Mountain Dew Campaign / Habbo Hotel - Award, Vuoden Huiput 2003, the annual competition of The Association of professional graphic designers in Finland
- Mountain Dew Campaign / Habbo Hotel - Bronze Pixel, RE:THE BIG ONE 2003
- Sulake - main award (Platinum Pixel) of the competition, Golden pixel:Best B2C, Golden Pixel: Best in Rich Media, Silver Pixel: Best Design RE:spekt THE BIG ONE 2002 / Helsinki
- Elämä On Parasta Huumetta ry (Life tastes better without drugs): INFO Bus / Habbo Hotel - Bronze award in Education and motivation, Media & Message 2002
- Elämä On Parasta Huumetta ry: HUBU / Habbo Hotel - Golden Pixel: Best Cross Media & Best Web Campaign, RE: THE BIG ONE 2002
- Hotelli Kultakala - The most fun and innovative web application, M&M (National marketing and advertising trade magazine) Grand Prix 2000
In April 2007, Sulake acquired Dynamoid Oy, the company behind the virtual community IRC-Galleria.
The Fuse Engine
It is also believed that Sulake's main focus, Habbo is powered by a game engine called Fuse developed for use with Macromedia Director which allows complex Director applications to function using less server resources than a standard ActionScript Communication Server. Sulake have released a Javatm based game engine that can run on any platform with a web server called Fuse Light
- Habbo (Habbo Hotel)
- The Sulake company provides Habbo in over 30 countries, with an estimated revenue of $77,000,000 for 2006. Sulake earns this revenue via four methods; selling in-game credits, website advertisement and sponsorship and Habbo-related merchandise.
- Coke Music (MyCoke)
- The first incarnation of chat environment within Coke Music (now MyCoke), CokeStudios, was designed by Sulake. The most recent version (v2.x) of CokeStudios was programmed exclusively by MyCoke's operators, StudioCom.
- Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK)
- Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom was a concept by Disney and created by Sulake.
- The Wreck Room
- "The Wreck Room" is a mini-game by Disney for the promotion of their 2003 movie Holes. The game design was based from Habbo.
- Mini Friday
- MiniFriday is a small research project on virtual worlds on mobile phones, with concept and design by Sulake. Sulake have just released that they have over 1 million users registered with their experimental service. They are now continuing to develop a commercial version with more features.
- IRC-Galleria is the largest WWW-based virtual community in Finland. It was founded in December 2000 by Tomi Lintelä as a photo gallery for the Finnish users of Internet Relay Chat (IRC). It was acquired by Sulake along with its previous owner, Dynamoid Oy on April 2007. As of February 2007, IRC-galleria boasts over 400,000 registered users and 6 million images. It was later acquired by Somia Reality Oy.