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2/22/2008
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RealNetworks Acquires Game Distributor From Macrovision

The Trymedia purchase follows last year's acquisition of Game Trust.

RealNetworks on Friday said it has agreed to acquire casual PC games distributor Trymedia from Macrovision, doubling the scale of RealNetworks' syndication business. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of March, is part of RealNetworks' strategy of building its online casual game syndication business through acquisition. The Trymedia purchase follows last year's acquisition of Game Trust, which provided a software platform for companies to build a casual game business online.

Trymedia provides syndication and commerce services that enable portals, online retailers, and game developers to distribute PC games through physical and digital channels. The company has more than 250 customers, including AOL, Yahoo, Testra, and T-Online.

Harold Zeitz, senior VP of RealNetworks' RealGames, said Trymedia would double the scale of the company's syndication business. "Trymedia has been a leader in the digital distribution space, so together we have a full portfolio of syndication services that we can offer partners," he said.

Along with distributing games, RealGames is also focused on attracting game developers for the unit's publishing group and on growing its base of advertisers.

Besides PC games, RealNetworks has also been focusing on delivering entertainment to mobile phones. In May, RealNetworks bought a division of Sony called Sony NetServices, which gave RealNetworks technology that broadcasts music, video, and games to mobile phones in Europe. In 2006, RealNetworks bought WiderThan, a South Korean company whose platform distributes downloadable music and ring tones in mobile phones.

RealNetworks isn't alone in the mobile games market. Big Fish Games specializes in selling downloadable casual games. Microsoft and Yahoo also offer casual games.

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