Habbo dives into NFTs: ‘We can play a big role’

Metaverset is one of the hottest topics in technology this year. The term stands for virtual worlds where people meet. Big parties like Microsoft, Google, Facebook parent company Meta and Fortnite manufacturer Epic Games are investing billions in it. But the phenomenon is not new. By the year 2000, there was already a metaverse that still exists: Habbo. It’s a 3D world where you can chat with others with your own avatar, design hotel rooms, take care of virtual pets and play games.

Habbo currently has 600,000 monthly active users. Since last fall, they can also display unique digital items purchased as NFTs. NFTs are property deeds used to buy and sell virtual objects, such as works of art. More and more metavers and games want to support NFTs, in part because sales can generate a lot of money.

“We see a new model in NFTs. But we do it our own way. Because we’ve been around for more than 20 years, we’re less sensitive to trends,” said Jurriaan van Teunenbroek, vice president of games and content at Azerion. About 12,000 Habbo NFTs have now been sold to more than 4,500 people. The average price of a Habbo-NFT is 0.19 ether, more than 200 euros. “The most expensive was sold for 30 ethers,” says Van Teunenbroek.

Integration of NFTs from other parties

Habbo will now also integrate NFTs from well-known third-party providers CyberKongz and Metaverse HQ, Azerion announced this week. Habbo users connect their crypto wallets so that they, as NFT holders, can unlock unique objects in the game such as clothes, furniture and badges. Special speech bubbles and effects follow later.

“They are unique objects, and that’s important in a virtual world: as a user, you want your own, unique identity,” says Van Teunenbroek. The NFTs are visible in Habbo with a logo above the avatar. NFT owners also get exclusive access to certain virtual spaces and receive credits that can be used to purchase other virtual objects.

From one metaverse to another

Following the success of NFT collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a host of NFTs have been launched, but for the most part, these are images that have no other use. Van Teunenbroek: “There are few NFT collections that can be used in a game at all. We want to make that possible. Partly because of our experience, we are further ahead than almost everyone in the market. We are building steadily and calmly. Company and can therefore play an important role in the NFT world, and we are used to the necessary competition. “

Ultimately, Azerion wants to make it possible to exchange virtual objects between different games and metavers, and NFTs can help with that. “Moving game objects from one platform to another is not possible now. For example, your Warcraft sword will not work in another game. In addition to all the technical aspects, other metavers and games often have a different model and economy. It always will be. tailor-made. ”

Clothing brands and football clubs

The NFTs can also be financially interesting for the parties working with Habbo, but according to Van Teunenbroek it is different from the collaboration. “We do not always pay money per sold NFT. It can also be a trade where both parties only want attention. Or that companies pay us in advance, as a form of advertising. We also talk to several well-known clothing brands about this. “

Azerion also plays with several ideas around NFTs, for example to implement them in the football clubs it is already working with. “For example, you can link NFTs to match tickets.”

‘Be economical in the community’

NFTs also have many critics who view the trades, which sometimes involve huge amounts of money, with suspicion. “There’s a lot of attention on parties that want to make as much money as possible on them. It’s not to the benefit of the consumer. We hope the value of NFTs remains realistic. And we listen carefully to the criticism because we are very careful with our community. “

The social aspect of NFTs often remains underexposed, says Van Teunenbroek. “It’s an intense community. And everyone talks to everyone. Thanks to NFTs, for example, you can see a bus driver and a famous artist talking together. That’s what I like about it.”

Tonie van Ringelestine

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