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RealNetworks plans to spin off its games unit

The Internet media company says it may plan an IPO for the new outfit, with up to 20 percent of shares being sold to the public.

Over on Silicon Alley Insider this afternoon, there's a piece about RealNetworks' announcement Thursday that it plans to spin off its games unit.

According to a release from RealNetworks, the Seattle company has decided that its casual games unit would be best positioned as an independent company.

RealNetworks also said it will distribute the shares in the new outfit to its existing shareholders.

The company said that it might plan an IPO for the new unit, whose name is yet to be determined. If it chooses the IPO route, that would likely happen prior to spinning off the unit, RealNetworks said in its release, and up to 20 percent of the new company would be sold to the public.

On June 10, Geek Gestalt hits the highways for Road Trip 2008. I'll start in Orlando, Fla., and visit many of the South's most interesting destinations. Stay tuned, and be sure to keep up, both now and during the trip, with what I'm doing on Twitter.