RealArcade goes after international players

Saying that the popularity of its digital game distribution software far exceeded expectations, RealNetworks introduced six new international RealArcade game sites Wednesday, in conjunction with announcing a handful of partnerships aimed at spurring further growth for its product abroad.

The RealArcade software, which lets users play online games before they pay for them, as well as offering download and installation management, is now available in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese.

RealArcade (http://www.realarcade.com/) offers game creators and publishers the opportunity to develop, distribute and sell games though the game platform, aided by RealNetworks' marketing efforts and e-commerce support, the Seattle-based company said.

The company said that it decided to launch the international sites after witnessing breakneck adoption of the game software since it was released in May of last year. According to RealNetworks, there have been 4.5 million downloads of RealArcade since its debut, and users have downloaded more than 15 million games. Additionally, RealArcade users have purchased over 450,000 games using the software, which has e-commerce functions, the company said.

Hoping to get more users to come out and play, RealNetworks has also forged deals with Australian telecommunication company Telstra Corp. Ltd., Singaporean Internet service provider (ISP) StarHub Internet, European Internet company Tiscali SpA and Brazilian Internet and media group Rede Brasil Sul to distribute RealArcade through their online portals, or in some cases via CD.

RealNetworks pinned some of the success of its game software on RealArcade's ability to reach a range of demographic targets, not just the core young male audience of gamers. The company said that it expanded the playing field by offering a variety of games that appeal to female and more mature audiences such as puzzles and card games.

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