Casual Connect: Real Networks' GameHouse Goes With Live Gamer's Virtual Economy Solutions

RealNetworks’ game division GameHouse today announced it’s partnering with microtransaction service Live Gamer to provide the virtual economy backend for GameHouse’s new Fusion cross-platform social gaming service (which Neil wrote about last May.) This means Live Gamer will handle virtual currency and item transactions for Fusion’s massive game library, and the move will also bolster its position as a major player in gaming’s next generation.

After all, the GameHouse announcement comes only days after Live Gamer announced it had formed a similar partnership with THQ, major publisher of games like Company of Heroes. Primarily known as a service provider for Sony Online Entertainment up until now, these two new deals beef up Live Gamer’s portfolio of clients, which include social and casual and hardcore games. (A genre that is, after a lot of foot dragging, quickly moving away from retail sales and toward the free-to-play, freemium revenue model.)
According to the company, these deals mean Live Gamer now serves 80 million users in 23 countries, and as the huge user base created by social games goes in search of more sophisticated titles, that number is likely to keep growing. Then again, so will the competition, as companies like Offerpal, Super Rewards, and — what was that other one? Oh yeah, Facebook — race to become gaming’s virtual currency solution of choice.