RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) is struggling to grow revenues across its various business units, but with a slew of new casual games distribution deals, as well as a new chief revenue officer for RealGames, the company is trying to claw its way back to the top of the online gaming industry it helped pioneer.
Former WidgetBucks CEO Matt Hulett has joined to head up RealGames; as chief revenue officer, he’ll be responsible for brokering the syndication deals that are key to expanding RealNetworks’ penetration in the casual games market. Sales from RealGames were up 9 percent at the end of 2008, but that slipped to 3 percent for Q1, and the company expects to post a decline for Q2—so these deals are an important source of alternative revenue.
The company says it has already inked agreements with roughly 50 new partners in the first half of 2009, including a new deal with Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) to power its Comcast.net Games Channel.
The partnership exposes RealGames’ roster of games to over 1.5 million potential new buyers; players can access free trials, pay for individual downloads, or subscribe to RealGames’ GamePass for roughly $7 per month. Other recent deal partners include male-centric entertainment network Giant Realm and social network Hi5.
By Tameka Kee