WMA joins Habbo's world


SAN DIEGO -- Virtual world Habbo has signed with WMA to help create strategic partnerships for the Finland-based company.

Habbo hopes WMA will help bring movie, TV, sports and music celebrities to the teen-centric virtual community as well as establish other key relationships.

"They will play a crucial role in expanding the Habbo brand across North America by initiating for us new relationships with advertisers in the entertainment industry and developing high-profile promotional opportunities," said Teemu Huuhtanen, executive vp Habbo business and president, North America.

The deal comes a week after Habbo announced a partnership with Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment to create and merchandise virtual goods based on such films as "The Spiderwick Chronicles," "Beowulf" and "Mean Girls" to Habbo's global community of 8 million teens.

"This is Hollywood discovering virtual worlds and realizing that there's real money to be made and that they're also great platforms to promote their movies and other properties," Huuhtanen said.

Huuhtanen promised the first projects from the partnership will come quickly. "As the Habbo community continues to increase, their audience will demand a mainstream in-game entertainment presence," WMA chairman and CEO Jim Wiatt said. "William Morris' digital group will be a key partner helping Habbo develop ideal business and marketing opportunities with the leaders of the entertainment."