RealNetworks Acquires Social Game Developer Backstage - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


RealNetworks Acquires Social Game Developer Backstage

Best known for its role in developing the Facebook adaptation of Family Feud, Backstage Technologies' expertise may bolster RealNetworks' social gaming platform, GameHouse Fusion.

RealNetworks has acquired game maker Backstage Technologies in an effort to expand further into social games. RealNetworks said Tuesday that the Canada-based Backstage will provide expertise in engineering and monetizing games for RealNetworks' digital games division, GameHouse. Financial details of the cash transaction were not disclosed.

Backstage is best known for partnering with iWin on a popular Facebook adaptation of FremantleMedia's TV game show Family Feud. Backstage's catalog of social games also include Pull Tabs, Scratch and Win, Slots and Vinyl City.

RealNetworks said Backstage would continue to operate out of its Vancouver headquarters. As a part of GameHouse, the company is expected to contribute to "key technological components" of GameHouse Fusion, RealNetworks' social gaming platform.

Introduced this year, Fusion is being offered as a platform for giving players access to social games across websites and devices. The RealNetworks technology currently powers a number of GameHouse games, including the smartphone game MarbleMixer, along with the Facebook games Uno, Scrabble, TextTwist and Collapse. GameHouse games currently reach more than 60 million active users a month.

"We acquired Backstage to advance our commitment to delivering fun and engaging games," Matt Hulett, senior VP of RealNetworks' Games Division, said in a statement. "With their pioneering talents in supporting and optimizing leading social gaming titles to scale to millions of users, Backstage will help evolve and improve our existing social games efforts."

Besides its games business, RealNetworks is majority owner of streaming music service Rhapsody, which is also partly owned by MTV. RealNetworks spun off Rhapsody this year into a standalone company. The number of Rhapsody subscriptions has stood at about 700,000 after peaking at 800,000 in the first quarter of 2009.


Rhapsody iPad App Stores Music Offline

RealNetworks CEO To Step Down

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Flash Poll