Habbo, the popular virtual world game formerly known as Habbo Hotel, made a bold move in 2021 by diving headfirst into the Web3 craze. The company announced its Habbo NFT project, which began with the sale of 10,000 randomly generated NFT avatars and later expanded to include NFT furniture and cosmetics. This decision was in line with the trend of companies embracing various Web3 concepts in 2021, before the crypto ecosystem faced numerous crises in 2022, exposing many schemes as mere cash grabs.
Sulake, the publisher of Habbo, likely saw the potential in this idea, considering the game’s focus on collecting cosmetic items, decorating rooms, and socializing. From an outsider’s perspective, the model seemed relatively successful. However, instead of moving away from the concept of unique digital items, Habbo is rebranding the project and distancing itself from Web3 terminology. The new label for these items will be Habbo Collectibles.
According to the company, they are “changing the way in which we talk about and present Habbo’s NFT items and features.” This rebranding effort will be visible across Habbo’s website and social channels. It also appears to be a strategy to separate Habbo from its alpha test phase version called Habbo X, which is based on play-to-earn principles. The Collectibles branding will replace all Habbo X branding, except for specific promotions related to Habbo X features and releases.
Habbo has revised its “text and terminology” related to Collectibles and intends to make broader changes in how it markets and releases these items. Notably, the company will be moving away from jargon like “NFT,” “Web3,” and “blockchain” in most of its marketing and communication efforts.
However, this shift in branding should not be mistaken for a complete departure from Web3 principles and technology. The Collectibles within Habbo will still function as NFTs, and Habbo X will continue to be developed, with its offerings tied to either the Ethereum or Immutable blockchain.
This rebranding decision reflects the confusion among consumers regarding the value and benefits of these technologies. It also suggests that the specific jargon mentioned by Habbo has become more of a hindrance than an asset. Web3 technologies are not going away; rather, companies simply do not want to associate their products with the negative reputation that Web3 has garnered.
In conclusion, Habbo’s move to rebrand its NFT project as Habbo Collectibles demonstrates the company’s desire to distance itself from Web3 terminology while still embracing its principles and technology. This decision reflects the broader confusion surrounding Web3 and the need for clearer communication about its benefits. Despite the rebranding, Web3 technologies will continue to play a significant role, even if companies prefer not to explicitly mention them.