Cyberbiz Brief

RealNetworks is readying to bow RealArcade, a platform for downloading and playing computer games online. Developers can download the service now, but it won’t be available to consumers for several months. Real said Wednesday that it has licensed GameSpy Industries’ technology to enable Netizens to compete against each other online. The infrastructure tracks more than 20,000 game servers, hundreds of thousands of files and millions of gamers. It is the official online infrastructure provider for vidgame giants Activision, Eidos and Interplay. It is also partnering with more than 30 game developers and publishers, including Zombie Entertainment, GameHouse, WEB Corp. and Daydream Software, for the venture. While online sales of games brought in about $250 million in revenue last year, that tally is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2005, turning RealArcade into a major revenue generator for Real. Real launched a games page to test the market less than a year ago, and now boasts about 70,000 hits a day.

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