September 15, 2010, 2:17 PM

RealNetworks buys a Canadian social gaming firm

Backstage Technologies also sells gaming payment systems.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Software and games retailer RealNetworks Inc. said today it bought Backstage Technologies Inc., a Canadian company that has created games and virtual currency and micropayment applications for use on Facebook, MySpace and other social networks.

Terms were not disclosed.

RealNetworks, No. 99 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says Backstage will bolster RealNetwork’s GameHouse network, which provides games that consumers can download or play online. GameHouse has more than 60 million active monthly users, RealNetworks says.

“As we transform RealNetworks, we will focus on areas with strong revenue growth and profit potential that will realize the value of our core business,” says Bob Kimball, CEO of RealNetworks. “The most compelling growth opportunity in games today is social games, and this acquisition is part of our commitment to make our entire GameHouse business social.”

GameHouse earlier this year launched GameHouse Fusion, a social gaming platform that gives consumers access to thousands of games across various web sites. RealNetworks says Backstage is perhaps best known for its role in helping to develop the Facebook version of the Family Feud game.

Backstage will continue to operate out of Victoria, British Columbia, RealNetworks says.

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