Friday, February 10, 2006

Just casual gaming….

Last week RealNetworks bought the Dutch company Zylom for 72,2 million euro. Zylom is a casual games producer and online operator. It is active in Germany, Great Britain and France. The company, started 4,5 years ago, offers 70 games all localised. Players can play the games freely, but have to put up with advertisements. They can also buy an game one-off.

The Dutch company will be the new European HQ for the games for RealNetworks. The acquisition will also change Zylom’s business model from one-off payments to subscriptions. Besides Internet, Zylom offers mobile games.

Zylom works collaborates with other Dutch parties such as the Spill Group,, GameDuell, Skill7, Boonty and Skilliam. The Spill Group operates game portals in 15 countries and reaches 1 million games daily.

Gaming seems to be big business in the Netherlands. A recent survey Intel Digital Lifestyle report noted that 40 percent of the Dutch above 18 years play online games. But more surprising is the fact that casual games are mainly played by married women above 30 years. This can be concluded from the user stats. Sunday night at 19.30h there is a peak. Dad is watching socces, mom is playing a casual game. Daily 90.000 Dutch women visit Zylom’s game site just to solve a puzzle, Sudoku or a riddle in a quarter of an hour. Why women above 30 years? Up to 30 years women are usually single, too busy with their career and social life, Zylom says.

Digital lifestyle of Dutch people above 18 years

Downloading music: 53%
Gaming : 40%
Photo albums : 24%
Own website : 17%
Blogging : 11%
Rest : 4%

Source: Intel, Digital Lifestyle (Netherlands report)


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