RealNetworks segues into video games

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Video streamer RealNetworks is developing a sideline in online video gaming with RealArcade, its new platform for digital distribution of PC games.

The RealArcade service - being previewed this week at a game developers conference - is slated to launch in the second quarter of this year. RealNetworks says it will offer PC users games across all genres for online and offline play, easy ways to find PC and Web-based games, and online play with other gamers. RealNetworks claims more than 40 game developers and publishers are supporting RealArcade, including developers such as Valve Software, Monolith, Zombie Entertainment and Small Rockets, and top game publishers like Sierra Online, Midas Interactive and ARUSH Entertainment.

No word on the business model, but it's likely to be subscription-based, which is the only model that's been successful online thus far. A RealArcade developer service will provide game creators with tools to build and sell PC games online. - Richard Tedesco

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