Habbo Hotel maker names ex-Playdom exec CEO in social games push

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Habbo HotelYou might have heard of the mega popular social network slash social game Habbo Hotel (pictured), but Finnish developer Sulake wants to turn "might" into "absolutely." The company just announced that it has hired former Playdom VP of global distribution Paul LaFontaine as CEO, Reuters reports. Sulake made the hire in an ambitious attempt to help the company break into the world of social gaming, and who would know the space better than a guy who was there from the beginning?

LaFontaine, who was largely responsible for publishing Playdom's--now owned by entertainment behemoth Disney--games will replace Timo Soininen as CEO of Sulake. "We have been turning that direction for two years and are now accelerating it with this new CEO," Sulake chairman Mika Salmi told Reuters.

Habbo Hotel, for the uninformed, is a social network-meets-social game in which about 10 million monthly visitors interact in a world designed to hearken back to the good old days of 8-bit gaming. Players create their own rooms in collective hotels normally restricted to countries of origin or native language, and play mini games, decorate and share gifts with other hotel denizens. Of course, like any social game, players can buy premium items using real money.

Judging from the fact that prospective players can already connect to Habbo Hotel through Facebook Connect, and that Sulake has made their interest in traditional social games clear, Sulake making games for Facebook is certainly a possibility. Alright, with the crazy money everyone seems to be raking in on Facebook, this is most likely exactly where the company is headed. And LaFontaine will lead the charge--watch out, Zynga and EA, Habbo is looking hinder your hottest games.

Have you ever played Habbo Hotel before--what do you think of it? Do you think Sulake and Habbo Hotel will make waves in the Facebook gaming world with LaFontaine? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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