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RealNetworks Launches RealArcade

RealNetworks (www.real.com) has made RealArcade available for download at www.realarcade.com. Real is hoping that the service will become a popular way to publish and play games online, much like its Real Jukebox serves as an organizational tool for many digital music collections.

The service has launched with more than 120 games from over 40 developers and publishers. All of the games are initially available for a free trial period, but to keep one of the flashier, graphically intense games, a consumer will have to pay $9.99 to $19.99 after a month. According to Tony Leamer, manager of Real's gaming group, the company's philosophy is that consumers should be allowed to sample all games before purchase.

Real is also currently offering one subscription-based game, Evernight. The game is a multi-player web-based strategy game, and will cost $4.95/ month after the 30-day trial period. The software also offers access to several free, ad-supported, web-based games, which are mainly trivia games and computer recreations of classic board games.

Leamer states that Real launched a large online ad campaign to promote Real Arcade today. The advertising will appear on sites ranging from Rollingstone.com to iVillage.com because Leamer adds that the demographic interested in different games can vary widely.

In March, RealNetworks unveiled the platform that will enable developers to begin creating new game titles for RealArcade. Today's release marks the first time the service will be widely available to the general public.

"RealArcade offers PC gamers an immersive entertainment experience that's like nothing else,'' said Rob Glaser, founder and CEO, RealNetworks, Inc. "Our goal was to make it fun and simple to find, organize and play a mix of games across the widest range of genres.

RealArcade's easy interface, rich features, and community environment will earn the 'high score' with consumers.''

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