RealNetworks Buys Dutch Game Firm

The company will shell out up to $21 million.
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RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

has bought Dutch gaming company

Zylom Media Group

in a deal worth up to $21 million.

With the acquisition, Real will become the leading provider of downloadable "casual" PC games in Europe as well as the U.S., the company said in a press release.

Zylom made approximately $8 million in revenue and approximately $750,000 in net income in 2005. Real expects the Zylom purchase will slightly add to its 2006 earnings.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call estimate Real will report $326 million in revenue for 2005. Real is scheduled to release its quarterly earnings next Tuesday.

The casual games category refers to shorter games like word and logic puzzles and the ever-popular solitaire rather than a full-blown PC title. Zylom's library includes games in seven languages, like Mirror Magic, Hotel Solitaire and PopCap's Bejeweled. Zylom currently distributes the games through its Web site and

Time Warner's

(TWX)

AOL service,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and Wanadoo in Europe.

"By combining Zylom's broad-based European distribution and strong titles with our RealArcade, GameHouse and Mr.Goodliving properties, we will be able to deliver more fun to more consumers around the world than ever before."

Real's stock was off by 20 cents, or 2.6%, to $7.54 in recent trading.