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Teen-focused online social hub Habbo now faces possible action from the European Commission (the executive division of the European Union) due to allegations of unmoderated sexual chats in the virtual game space, GamesIndustry International reported today.
The threat of regulation could lead to a complete shutdown of the service. “At the end of the day, that should be a remedy that is at stake,” said EC vice president Neelie Kroes.
Yesterday, venture capital firm Balderton Capital dropped its 13 percent stake in Finnish developer Sulake, which owns and maintains Habbo. Seemingly in response, UK retailers GAME, Tesco, and WH Smith all announced the removal gift cards for the online game from their stores.
“We have withdrawn this product from sale pending further investigation,” GAME said in a statement. “The cards have been withdrawn with immediate effect from all 339 of our stores.”