GameStop Buys Impulse, Further Invests in Digital Distribution

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GameStop Buys Impulse, Further Invests in Digital Distribution

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The U.S. retail giant GameStop gobbled up one of the biggest digital distributors of PC games on the internet in Impulse.

There are only a few websites out there that garner enough digital sales of games to be relevant to the conversation. Without the each company's sales numbers available to rank them, only anecdotal evidence can say how well they do but Valve's Steam is likely #1, with Direct2Drive, GamersGate, Impulse, and Good Old Games making the shortlist. With online sales skyrocketing and the shelf space for PC games at retailers shrinking, GameStop has decided to invest heavily in what it sees is the future. By acquiring Impulse from strategy developer Stardock, in addition to digital-streaming company Spawn Labs, GameStop is poised to go beyond just brick-and-mortar storefronts.

"Our customers are gaming in many locations and on many devices, and we need to deliver the same great immersive experience that they have come to expect," said GameStop President Tony Bartel.

"With these important acquisitions, we will continue to make appropriate investments related to our multichannel strategy. GameStop is uniquely positioned to be the leader in both the physical and digital gaming space," another GameStop executive said.

The integration between Impulse and GameStop will occur over the next few months. What I'm interested in finding out is how current customers of Impulse will be affected. Will games they have purchased there still be downloadable once the merger is complete?

(Update: Stardock has contacted me to say that customers will not be affected by the transition at all. I'll let you guys know more as soon as I speak to Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock.)

The implications of this acquisition may go beyond just PC games. While I think it's great to be able download most games to play on my computer - I can't remember the last time I bought a retail PC game box - I wonder if GameStop is positioning itself for the next generation of consoles. Will we be able to purchase console games through GameStop's marketplace on our shiny new Xbox 1492s?

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Tell you what, I bet impulse will have drm on it now. Its the only way that they can persuade the big developers to use it as platform.

Isn't it still a little too early for US April Fools?

Void(null):
Isn't it still a little too early for US April Fools?

This is what I was thinking. Impulse is owned by Stardock; there's no way they'd sell to Gamestop. The company is just too anti-DRM, and they'd be losing a very profitable first party distribution network. Not to mention that most of their money comes from productivity software...

This is moot. Impulse may be on the top list, but Valve is still 70% of digital PC game distribution. And, I have heard of all the other digital distributors, but not Impulse. It's not too likely they will be competitive against other digital distribution houses, they are doing poorly for this reason, they do not compete.

Laughable.

"With these important acquisitions, we will continue to make appropriate investments related to our multichannel strategy. GameStop is uniquely positioned to be the leader in both the physical and digital gaming space," another GameStop executive said.

This guy is sorely mistaken. That is a statement meant to increase confidence. Good luck.

Void(null):
Isn't it still a little too early for US April Fools?

Don't think so, putting a Aprils fools joke on corporate information could run you into trouble with SEC.

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=130125&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1544860&highlight=

I suspect the whole elemental failure has given them the choice of sell or go bust.

Edit

http://www.stardock.com/about/newsitem.asp?id=2558

Aw crap! well... I only have two games on Impulse.. well 3 if you count expansion packs. The rest of my stuff is on Steam. So it's not all bad I suppose. But I really went to digital to get AWAY from Gamestop.. .Arrrrrrrr

why would Stardock sell the main means of distributing their games? : / Im taking it on faith that this ISN'T an april fools joke (it isn't a very good one if it is) but this new greatly dissapoints me. Gamestop have an attitude counter to the founding roots of Impulse as a platform.

Although this seems unlikely as stardock distribute a LOT of their content via the platform, they are woven into it much like valve is woven into steam.

Glad I didn't ever use it then and this pretty much seals the deal of me never using it from now on either xD

Dexter111:
Glad I didn't ever use it then and this pretty much seals the deal of me never using it from now on either xD

looking at both press releases this seems to be Legit, i am now rather depressed. Impulse was a great tool for Stardock and a great alterative to steam becuase of it's culture. Now Impuse is just another platform with the added bad-will of being owned by an American fast-food like company who is involved in counterproductive methods of business to the industry. I only used the service because it was run by Stardock and had a great policy and culture about DRM, freedom of content and was over-all a VERY unintrusive platfrom.

If this is real I can see no way this culture can continue. I can see no way there can still be zreo DRM. I see no reason to use the serivice if this news is true. Gamespot just handed VALVE another section of the Digital Dist market on a platter since the good-will attached to Stardock was one of the main driving forces behind what made impulse work.

This is the worst april fools ever.

Please take it back.

edit: Actually no, Gamestop buying GOG would be the worst ever. This is pretty bad too though.

Welp, looks like I'm uninstalling Impulse from my computer now. Too bad, I had 5 games that I bought from them. No way in hell I will ever help that cartoonishly evil mass of bullshit that is GameShit.

I suppose this could be less "GameStop bought Impulse" and more "GameStop now owns a controlling interest in Impulse." It still bizarre to think that Stardock gave up their own platform though. Then again Steam could be getting to that point where the competitors are floundering. Impulse didn't really have anything going for it except Stardock's products and the rare better deal, it could simply be the first to see the writing on the wall.

2 things Gamestop need to do with Impulse:

1. Stop all the stupid damn regional offers which mean I can never actually take advantage of the good deals they get as 'It is not available in your area'.

2. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up.

Guess I've got something to uninstall when I get home. Does anyone know if I can still use SoaSE Entrenchment afterward?

Whoooa. Gamestop is becoming just one massive gaming giant.
Steam, here I come.

Does this mean we will get another company which does digital used games?

This is sad news for me. I will keep the games I already have but I am unlikely to get any new ones. I take it that Impulse was likely the second or third biggest after steam or I doubt Game Stop would have bothered to buy out Stardock.

A sad day. A very sad one. At least we still have Good Old games. Looks like I will be using steam more now.

matrix3509:
Welp, looks like I'm uninstalling Impulse from my computer now. Too bad, I had 5 games that I bought from them. No way in hell I will ever help that cartoonishly evil mass of bullshit that is GameShit.

You realise that simply have something installed doesn't "help" GameStop in anyway, right? Nor does playing games you've already bought. Your logic is bizarre.

albino boo:

Void(null):
Isn't it still a little too early for US April Fools?

Don't think so, putting a Aprils fools joke on corporate information could run you into trouble with SEC.

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=130125&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1544860&highlight=

I suspect the whole elemental failure has given them the choice of sell or go bust.

Edit

http://www.stardock.com/about/newsitem.asp?id=2558

Well poop... and here I was hoping that it was all just a joke. Guess I am done buying games from Impulse.

Gamestop can go fuck themselves.

As a PC Gamer they have made it clear they do not want my business and I am certainly not going to give it to them now.

matrix3509:
Welp, looks like I'm uninstalling Impulse from my computer now. Too bad, I had 5 games that I bought from them. No way in hell I will ever help that cartoonishly evil mass of bullshit that is GameShit.

Better idea...redownload each game everyday and clog up there server and spend their money at the same time.

Glad I got rid of Impulse a while back then. That's a pretty silly move, gamestop is the bane of gaming distribution with the way it handles used games distributing (being they keep all of the $$$ when a portion should definitely make it to the dev/pub's pockets).

Well, I've never bought anything from this Impulse service, and now I never will. Gamestop is like the Gamestop of the video game industry.

Well this sucks. My time with Gamestop has shown they are not as friendly as Stardock when it comes to their customers. This makes me very, very sad.

I would argue that GameStop buying digital distributors isn't so much them investing in the future as it is them trying to murder the future, Skynet style.

Lol at GameStop trying not to die. BLOCKBUSTERS WAS WAY BIGGER THAN YOU, AND IT WENT DOWN TOO GAMESTOP. YOURE NEXT. ACCEPT IT.

Oh no! And here I was, buying PC games almost exclusively from Stardock, trying to support the underdog...

This is a good idea for GameStop, if they want to keep themselves afloat. Otherwise, I foresee them crashing and burning similar to Blockbusters.

well, there ends any support for impulse.

I preferred steam anyway, but liked supporting stardock. Makes me feel warm and jumbly inside.

They're probably running into financing issues after Elemental.

Scrumpmonkey:
looking at both press releases this seems to be Legit, i am now rather depressed. Impulse was a great tool for Stardock and a great alterative to steam becuase of it's culture. Now Impuse is just another platform with the added bad-will of being owned by an American fast-food like company who is involved in counterproductive methods of business to the industry. I only used the service because it was run by Stardock and had a great policy and culture about DRM, freedom of content and was over-all a VERY unintrusive platfrom.

If this is real I can see no way this culture can continue. I can see no way there can still be zreo DRM. I see no reason to use the serivice if this news is true. Gamespot just handed VALVE another section of the Digital Dist market on a platter since the good-will attached to Stardock was one of the main driving forces behind what made impulse work.

May I point you in the direction of Gamersgate. Better than Impulse in pretty much every way I can think of, frankly. Just remember to copy and paste out the installers when you've finished downloading them. Viola: DRM free games (assuming the game you bought was DRM free, of course).

i just had the strangest sense of dejavu reasing this article...

in any case, Gamestop needs some competition for retail sales, because as of right now, its the only place i know of to get games cheap

(Bioshock 2 is still about 30 bucks at target. i could just get it for 17.99 at gamestop...)

Damnit. Though I never liked Impulse so I have now absolutely no reason to use it at all now.

Stardock was the only reason I was considering it.

well if this is true then at least I have no reason to use it anymore, not like I did much anyway but it was still a good alternative to steam

Can someone remind me why this is a bad thing? Impulse has been floundering because it doesn't have the financial backing available to be able to snag major releases like Steam does, so it can't compete. GameStop backing it will give it that financial backing so Steam will finally have some competition. This is only a good thing.

NO! Gamestop, you were one of the good ones. Don't go down the path of Digital Distribution.
It's funny, I had never even heard of Impulse until yesterday when my friend was touting it's greatness while condemning me for liking Gamestop.

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