HTK and Habbo Launch Pay-by-Phone Online Gaming Solution
Sulake Canada Inc., creator of Habbo Hotel, the online community for teenagers has selected HTK for the launch of its operations in North America. Supported by its managed services platform, HTK has developed an interactive voice response (IVR) solution that allows customers to call a pre-determined premium rate service (PRS) number to buy Habbo "credits" for their Habbo account. HTK then automatically transfers the funds to Habbo Hotel in a secure environment.
The launch of Habbo Hotel in Canada follows the success of Habbo Hotel in the UK and elsewhere in Europe where its sites currently attract over 2.3 million visits from young people per month. Visitors to the Habbo Hotel can open an account to create a 'Habbo' character which can then interact with other Habbos using instant messaging and online gameplay. While free to play, Habbo "credits" can be purchased for additional online activities such as purchasing furniture "furni," playing games and participating in contests.
Currently handling 45 percent of global IVR transactions from Habbo Hotel communities, HTK provides a solution that supports Sulake's management of its global virtual communities. All Habbo Hotels are monitored and moderated to provide a safe and secure online environment for teenagers to interact and play.
Allan Best, country manager for Sulake Canada, states: "The latest research from the University of London shows that young people use the internet as much as every other day and that online interaction and games provide great benefits. Our premise is to provide young people with a safe and secure environment in which to meet new friends and have fun. We have stringent measures in place to protect our customers and their Habbo community. Ensuring the security of our Habbo's on-site payments is a critical component of this. While our Habbo Hotel is free to play, HTK's managed IVR service allows us to provide a reliable and affordable delivery channel for those Habbos who wish to buy Habbo credits to access additional features and services at Habbo Hotel. Partnering with HTK enables us to offer our Habbos a 'pay-as-you-play' service. This is an important competitive advantage for us in North America where most multiplayer online games operate on a fixed, pre-paid monthly basis."
HTK and Sulake are planning to further expand their co-operation to new markets in 2005.