Tue, 07/22/2008

2008 Press Releases

RealNetworks Continues Leadership in Casual Games with New Partners, New Content and Innovation

Maintains success in bringing the best casual games to consumers on a variety of platforms

SEATTLE — July 23, 2008  —  From Casual Connect Seattle, digital entertainment services company RealNetworks®, Inc. (Nasdaq RNWK) is showcasing the recent activities and successes of its Games Division, including announcements that extend customer reach; provide new content on the PC and across console, handheld and mobile platforms; and make public a key milestone for its in-game advertising business.  A pioneer in the casual gaming industry, Real announced in May of this year its intention to separate its global casual games business into an independent company and distribute shares of the newly created games company to its shareholders, providing the Games Division, RealGames, a new opportunity to flourish and lead the industry.

"In addition to our continued work with partners like Hasbro and Mattel, we've been hard at work developing fresh content and expanding onto new platforms like the Nintendo Wii," said Harold Zeitz, chief operating officer of RealNetworks' Games Division. "Every day, we're reaching new players through our portals and growing distribution network, bringing consumers new ways to play the fun games they love."

Extending Customer Reach
Through an exclusive, newly-announced partnership with Topics Entertainment, the largest privately owned multimedia publishing company in the U.S., packaged RealArcade® games will be distributed to retail stores throughout North America. This new partnership will extend the popular RealArcade brand to retail, with planned Fall 2008 releases including "UNO Undercover™," "Little Shop of Treasures," "Sally's Salon" and "Cate West: The Vanishing Files."

This new, direct-to-consumer channel builds upon Real's expansive global reach through its syndication and distribution network, which includes partners like AOL, MSN and Lifetime.  At Casual Connect in Amsterdam (February 2008), Real announced an exclusive partnership with the world's fastest growing casual games network, SPILL GROUP.  Based in The Netherlands, SPILL owns and operates 30 games portals throughout Europe, Asia and North- and South America.

Delivering New Content Consumers Want Real continues to bring new and award-winning games to the market, and is highlighting two of its newest games at Casual Connect:

  • "UNO Undercover™" — This casual game adaptation of America's favorite card game was developed as part of Real and Mattel, Inc.'s multi-year agreement, a partnership announced at last year's Casual Connect Seattle. Mattel and Real have since been working together to deliver some of Mattel's most recognizable games for downloadable PC and online game play throughout the world on Real's extensive distribution network.

  • "Little Shop — Road Trip" — In this fourth installment of the popular "Little Shop" series, the seek-and-find genre hits the open road with a full tank! Developed by Real's Seattle-based GameHouse® Studios, the series has been a best-selling hidden object franchise throughout Real's extensive network since the inaugural title "Little Shop of Treasures" launched early in 2007. To ease the wallet strain that could be brought on by a real road trip, given current gas prices, Real will be giving away gas to promote the new game release (see full release for details) [3].

Both of these games are available now at www.RealArcade.com and www.GameHouse.com.

In addition, Real is announcing a syndication partnership with National Geographic Channel (NGC). Under this partnership, NGC is launching the conservation themed real-time simulation game — "Habitat Rescue! With National Geographic Channel" — in which users help a pride of lost lions restore their natural paradise. The game is the centerpiece for the launch of NGC's new online game site, www.natgeotv.com/games, which includes a collection of hundreds of Real's games, categorized to align with NGC's content and brand: Animals & Nature, Science & Technology, History & Events, Exploration & Adventure, People & Places, and Preserve Our Planet. "Habitat Rescue! With National Geographic Channel" was developed by Rebel Monkey, published by Real and will be available exclusively at www.natgeotv.com.

Building Cross-Platform Games Franchises Real is continuing its strategy of extending its most popular games like "Super Collapse!", "Sally's Salon" and "Little Shop of Treasures" beyond the PC to game consoles and mobile phones. At Casual Connect, Real is showing a lineup of games on multiple devices, including its first game developed for the Nintendo® Wii™:

  • Real recently announced new games for Nintendo systems, including its first retail title for the Nintendo Wii, "Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor," and two new titles for the Nintendo DS™, "Sally's Salon" and "Tropix". All three titles experienced marked success on Real's online portals and have been reformatted and optimized with new features that utilize the new platform capabilities, such as multi-player modes and touchscreen challenges. These titles will be available at major video game retailers this fall. 

  • Another first for Real, "South Park Imaginationland" is the company's first iPhone compatible mobile game title and is now available for purchase only in the iTunes store. 

  • Also announced earlier this year was touch-screen support for Real's mobile games library of titles. At the show, Real will show its mobile game adaptations of two notably successful titles, "Sally's Salon" and "Little Shop of Treasures." Both games will be shown on touch-screen devices to demonstrate this capability.

As Real continues with its cross-platform strategy, the Games Division is exploring opportunities on platforms such as WiiWare™ and XBox LIVE Arcade®, aiming to deliver to consumers the games they want, whenever and wherever they want to play them, on whichever device they choose.

Crossing New Milestone for In-Game Advertising
This month, Real's advertising business achieved a new milestone by serving its 400 millionth in-game ad impression.  This is a testament to the value that advertisers are gaining by targeting casual games as an effective advertising medium. Real pioneered the streaming of in-game video advertising in early 2006 as a form of monetization and an innovative way to provide free game play for consumers.

Casual Gaming represents an ideal opportunity for advertisers that target women, who often make the majority of purchasing decisions in their household.  To paint a vivid picture of the average casual gamer, Real commissioned Information Solutions Group (ISG) to survey over 5,000 RealArcade.com and GameHouse.com users earlier this year, resulting in the following newly-released data:

Player Profiles

  • At 85% of all users, females continue to be the primary users of Real Networks portals GameHouse.com and RealArcade.com. 

  • Two-thirds (66%) of GameHouse and RealArcade users are married. 29% are married with children living at home, another 27% are married with children not living at home, while 10% are married with no children. 

  • 40% of users are between 30 and 50 years of age (73% are between 30 and 60 years of age). 

  • Over half (56%) of GameHouse and RealArcade users work full time or are self employed, followed by 17% who are retired. 

  • Four out of ten (39%) of those playing GameHouse and RealArcade games identified themselves as college graduates, with 11% having an advanced degree.

Leisure Time Activities

  • When asked to rate their involvement in 21 different leisure activities, ranging from "daily" to "never," we found that GameHouse and RealArcade users spend a significant part of their leisure time playing casual games. 93% play casual games at least once a week with over half (53%) playing daily, followed by 90% who watch TV/movies at home at least once a week.

  • Listening to music/radio (89%), reading a book, magazine or newspaper (89%) and talking on the phone (87%) round out the top five leisure-time activities. 

  • When asked to identify the leisure activity they participate in most often, 22% said they watch TV/movies at home most, followed by 18% who play casual games most often. 

  • GameHouse and RealArcade users watch drama/adventure shows (72%) and movies (71%) on TV most often, followed by the news (58%) and situation comedies at 46%. 

  • Half (50%) of the GameHouse and RealArcade users said Rock music is one of their favorite music genres, followed by Country (45%) and Pop at 36%.

This international research was conducted by Information Solutions Group for RealNetworks RealGames. The results are based on online surveys completed by 5,456 respondents randomly selected between January 8, 2008 and January 18, 2008. The audience consisted of 818 men and 4,638 women website visitors. In theory, in 19 cases out of 20, the results will differ by no more than 1.3 percentage points from what would have been obtained by seeking out and polling all GameHouse.com and RealArcade.com users age 18 and over. Smaller subgroups reflect larger margins of sampling error. Other sources of error, such as variations in the order of questions or the wording within the questionnaire, may also contribute to different results.

RealNetworks' Games Division is a leader in the casual games industry worldwide, with a vertically integrated development, publishing, licensing, distribution and retail business. Casual games are family friendly and easy-to-learn but can be difficult to master. Played on personal computers, mobile handsets, portable devices and living room consoles, casual games include board, card, puzzle, word and hidden-object games.

For More Information:
Tiffany Dunning

Bailey Locke
SHIFT Communications for RealNetworks



RealNetworks, Inc. delivers digital entertainment services to consumers via PC, portable music player, home entertainment system or mobile phone. Real created the streaming media category in 1995 and has continued to lead the market with pioneering products and services, including: RealPlayer®, the first mainstream media player to enable one-click downloading and recording of Internet video; the award-winning Rhapsody® digital music service, which delivers more than 1 billion songs per year; RealArcade®, one of the largest casual games destinations on the Web; and a variety of mobile entertainment services, such as ringback tones, offered to consumers through leading wireless carriers around the world. RealNetworks' corporate information is located at www.realnetworks.com/company.

RealNetworks, GameHouse, RealArcade, Rhapsody and RealPlayer are registered trademarks of RealNetworks, Inc. or its wholly owned subsidiary.  Nintendo, Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.  All other trademarks and names of products mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.