RealTime IT News

Buy Bolsters Real's Games Service

Media player maker RealNetworks said today that it will buy downloadable computer game maker GameHouse for $35.6 million in cash and stock.

GameHouse creates electronic versions of classic games like solitaire and mahjong, as well as puzzles and word games. Its offerings will bolster RealNetworks' RealArcade paid download service.

The companies have worked together since January 2001, when RealNetworks inked distribution deals with 10 developers, including the Seattle's GameHouse, to widen the offerings of the newly launched games section on Real.com.

In a statement, RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser said that RealArcade has sold more than 2 million games since 2001. GameHouse has sold more than 1 million copies of its titles through RealArcade and other channels, generating more than $10 million in revenue and $5.5 million of net income in 2003.

Under the agreement, GameHouse will maintain its relationships with distributors including Comcast , Earthlink , Pogo.com, MSN, RealArcade, Shockwave, Sony, and Yahoo! , while RealNetworks will continue to sell other companies' titles.

GameHouse will operate as a subsidiary of RealNetworks called GameHouse Studios. The firm's president, Garr Godfrey, will become general manager of GameHouse Studios.