RealNetworks has announced that it will be joining the ranks of top brands who have committed to creating dedicated content for O2's new UK i-mode service, with games and entertainment content from RealArcade set to be available on the service from day one.
Beginning on October 1st, when i-mode launches in the UK, the partnership with RealNetworks will provide consumers with a continually rotating selection of casual games.
i-mode's flexible content structure enables free, pay-per-download and subscription based services from a large number of broad ranging content providers. The RealArcade service will be available for a maximum monthly subscription fee of GBP 3.00 (EURO 3.00 in Ireland) and will feature classic parlour games, popular mobile franchises such as Trivial Pursuits and a variety of sports franchises.
"As a part of the new i-mode service from O2, RealArcade Mobile offers consumers a host of compelling casual games. Consumers are always looking for fresh, fun and challenging experiences with their mobiles, and we're confident the combination of RealArcade and i-mode delivers," said Juha Ruskola, General Manager RealNetworks Mobile Games, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The partnership with RealNetworks bolsters what is already a significantly large number of key entertainment partners offering content for the launch of i-mode in the UK. Games are clearly an integral part of the mobile market, and the experience of RealNetworks in developing strong community based gaming structure should provide UK consumers with a real incentive to use and enjoy the service.
Veterans of the i-mode platform in Japan, such as Capcom, Namco, SEGA and Jamdat have all signed up for the UK launch, giving consumers an important sense of choice on the new alternative to WAP for mobile entertainment.
Graham Riddell, head of i-mode marketing for O2 UK said: "O2 wants to make developing mobile content as attractive and as easy for businesses as possible. The building of a strong content community both on and off portal will be critical to the success of the services. Our research clearly shows that consumers are willing to look at and pay for mobile content, and expectations are tied closely to a user's experience of the Internet."
"RealNetworks has managed to capture the benefits of i-mode and joined the i-mode ecosystem to offer to its users a compelling mobile experience," he added.