Game portals RealArcade and GameHouse will soon be merged into a single online gaming destination designed to offer members more features and a larger variety of games, according to RealNetworks, the parent company that owns both game sites.
RealNetworks launched RealArcade in 2001, then acquired GameHouse in 2004. RealGames’ General Manager of Product Marketing for North America, Chris Young, told Gamezebo that since RealArcade was running on substantially older technology than GameHouse, it made sense to migrate RealArcade members over to GameHouse where they could experience benefits like stabler downloads, more game releases per week, user reviews, forums, and the ability to gift games.
GameHouse also offers its members more options than RealArcade when it comes to paying for and playing games, including the "all you can eat" FunPass (where you can "rent" any game on the site for a $19.99 per month flat fee); FunTickets (which let you purchase games outright for $6.99 with a $6.99 monthly fee); or the Free Game of the Day, which lets players download ad-supported games for free without a subscription plan.
RealArcade members immediately get access to GameHouse’s larger library of games, including more than 900 PC download games and 250 online games. One of the biggest improvements is in the area of Mac games: the nearly 300 Mac games currently available on GameHouse will now be available to RealArcade members as well. RealArcade members will also have access to games more quickly, since games have typically been released on GameHouse more quickly than on RealArcade.
Flagship RealGames titles will be available exclusively on GameHouse, like the upcoming third game in the Mortimer Beckett series, and the new Super Collapse! puzzle game.
The new portal will be located at GameHouse.com. People who visit RealArcade.com will be redirected to GameHouse. This may or may not remain a permanent feature, said Young, and will depend on whether or not RealNetworks decides to turn RealArcade into something else.
There will be a migration plan in place for RealArcade members to transfer their account over to GameHouse, or, if the player is a member of both sites, merge their accounts into a single one. Young said that the transfer should be pretty seamless, with all games, entitlements and purchases from RealArcade being trasnfered to GameHouse.
RealNetworks is still hammering out a few details, but according to Young the merger is expected to take place by the end of the year.