Habbo, Summit in ‘Twilight’ Pact

NEW YORK The dreamiest vampires in literature and film are set to stalk another medium: virtual worlds.

Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the red-hot Twilight movie franchise, has inked a deal with Habbo, a Web-based virtual playground popular among tweens and teens in more than 30 countries, to cross-promote the upcoming The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

Starting in November, a few weeks prior to New Moon’s Nov. 20 premiere, Habbo will roll out a New Moon-themed virtual space within its 31 virtual worlds around the globe. In addition, site users who create avatars (videogame-like versions of themselves) will be able to decorate their own “rooms” with virtual goods based on the movie.

Details are still being worked out, but Habbo officials said they also likely to promote both the movie and the virtual Moon-themed environment with an online media campaign. Plus, Summit executives are planning to reach out to various Twilight fan communities on the Web to drum up interest in the program.

The Twilight deal is something of a coup for the still-growing Habbo, which claims more than 13 million unique users globally. The site reached 2.2 million uniques in the U.S. in June, per comScore. According to the site’s internal research, the average Habbo user is roughly 15 years old.

“I don’t think you could ask for more [for Habbo],” said Teemu Huuhtanen, evp, marketing and business development at Habbo’s parent company Sulake Corp. “Twilight is the hottest property right now for the Habbo demographic.”

Besides serving as a solid piece of advertising business, the Twilight deal also represents an opportunity for Habbo to introduce the property to new fans. “There is tremendous upside for us,” added Huuhtanen. During the course of the promotion, Habbo is planning to schedule events worldwide for fans of the books and movies to attend. “I would be really surprised if this doesn’t drive a huge amount of fans to check out Habbo [for the first time]. I expect a lot of people coming to the site and checking out what we’ve done,” he said.

See also:

“Vampire Stake Their Claim Online”

“Changes in Store for Kids’ Virtual Worlds”

“Movie Studios Expand Into Virtual Web Worlds”

Nielsen Business Media