virtual worlds 2008

Industry News


  Sampo Karjalainen
Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer
Sulake Corporation Ltd.

Sampo co-founded Sulake in 2000 with friend and colleague Aapo Kyrola and to this day continues to drive the company’s creative strategy. A member of the extended management team, he has been active in creating a unique product and the company behind it.

He is instrumental in the evolution of Habbo, one of the World’s most successful virtual worlds and social networking sites for teens, overseeing e.g. the introduction of new functionality, games and initiatives such as Habbowood and the Traxmachine.

Sampo is passionate about creating online services that are based on user participation and creativity and is a keen advocate of ‘open-ended play’. Initial concepts such as Mobiles Disco, a browser based graphical chat environment and Lumisota (Snow War), an award winning online game, followed this successful blueprint. Both became online hits in Finland within months.

Whilst Sampo aims to encourage creativity with each project, his own talent sees him spearheading Sulake’s research and development teams. He is particularly interested in exploring alternative platforms to the PC and is heavily involved in testing new ideas, concepts and user interfaces for Habbo.
Sampo began his career as a graphic designer and animator, working with pioneering new media companies To the Point (1994-1998) and Satama Interactive (1998 – 1999) before joining Taivas where Sulake was founded.

Sampo’s interests in creativity and design envelop his personal life too. He has a keen interest in design and urban culture – is a street fashion photography website he runs with his partner.





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