British TV station Channel 4 ran a damning story about pedophiles in the virtual world of Habbo earlier this week that caused two major investors in the Sulake – the owner and operator of it – to walk away from the company. Now Sulake is trying to recover from the bad press, even as loyal users held silent vigils in the game in a show of support this week.
Today Sulake said that it was preparing for what it calls the "Great Unmute," which would let users share their positive experiences of the virtual hotel. Sulake CEO Paul Lafontaine also said that the horrific media coverage was "distracting" it from securing the site to deal with whatever sexual predators might be lurking therein. Lafontaine did admit that the Channel Four investigation had served as a "wake-up call" for Sulake.
"We fully intend to actively participate in finding a regulatory solution that will protect our users and ensure the long-term reputation and future of the social gaming community," he said.
Finally Lafontaine criticized journalists who, he claims were contacting Habbo users offering cash for stories about their poor experiences on the site.
"Petty attempts to generate more bad news are distracting us from the job at hand," he said.