Hi5 continues its transition from a social network to a "social entertainment" hub with the addition to its Games Channel of more than 1,500 RealGames titles from RealNetworks. The RealNetworks alliance builds on existing deals with SmallWorlds, Playdom, Mochi Media, and RockYou to build out Hi5's selection of games available to its 60 million-plus user base.
According to a company rep, "The deal augments hi5's current casual and social games channel to offer more content for "core gamers" and is the latest piece of the company's broader strategy of turning the site into a social entertainment portal."
Launched in February, 2009, the Hi5 Games Channel has become one of the most popular areas of the site, driving over 3 million game plays per day, the company said. Hi5 Games has grown to where it supports nearly 5 million unique visitors monthly.
"Adding downloadable games expands our overall value proposition to gamers and presents a promising new revenue stream for our social entertainment business," said Ramu Yalamanchi, founder and chief product officer of Hi5. "This partnership allows us to address a broader range of entertainment interests for our millions of active users, from casual gamers to core gamers, with many of the top PC game titles."
It's worth noting that the RealGames suite of titles cannot be purchased with the site's virtual currency, Hi5 Coins, only US dollars.
The company did not detail the revenue split with RealNetworks.
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