Digital entertainment services company RealNetworks is to develop, publish and distribute Scrabble, Uno and several other Mattel games titles for downloadable PC and online play.
The worldwide deal (excluding the US and Canada for Scrabble) follows news from the Casual Games Association that more than 200 million people globally play casual games via the internet. Indeed, the casual gaming industry is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2008.
"Consumers are looking for fun, interactive gameplay in the online world and Real's experience and understanding of the casual gaming market makes them a great choice as our partner as we expand our efforts in this area," said Cynthia Neiman, VP of marketing at Mattel Games. "Together, we are bringing some of the world's most popular games to a new format, creating an interesting twist on classic family gameplay."
Harold Zeitz, senior VP of games for Real, added: "Games like Scrabble and Uno are enjoyed by families all over the world. Making these games available online is a natural fit as people begin to look first to the computer for entertainment. Through this partnership, they will find the Mattel classic games they grew up with now on the PC."
The first titles are expected to be available from mid 2008.
Real has developed some of the industry's most popular casual game titles including award winners Super Collapse and South Park 10: The Game.