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GameStop to acquire Stardock's Impulse download service

By David Jenkins

Fri 01 Apr 2011 7:39am GMT / 3:39am EDT / 12:39am PDT

Retail giant also acquires streaming and cloud technology experts Spawn Labs

US retailer GameStop has announced the acquisition of streaming technology firm Spawn Labs, and agreed the acquisition of Impulse - Stardock Systems's popular digital distribution subsidiary.

Impulse is a rival to Valve's Steam service, although recent estimates suggested it commanded only 10 per cent of the current market. Spawn Labs is currently working on a streaming service which allows users to play their home consoles from any remote location.

Following Spawn Labs' acquisition, the team will begin to work with GameStop's existing research & development group, to further develop the company's digital game products and services. Subsequently GameStop aims to offer "a wide selection of high-definition video games on demand on any Internet-enabled device".

The purchase of Impulse is expected to be finalised in May, and will include the company's Impluse: Client software - which already includes a library of more than 1,100 games. GameStop will also continue to offer middleware tools Impulse: Reactor and Impulse: Publisher.

Both GameStop and Impulse have insisted that the current online service will continue to run as normal in the interim, with a community FAQ assuring current customers that the acquisition will be positive for the service.

GameStop also purchased Web game portal Kongregate in 2010, although previously the company has been criticised for its slow response to the rising digital distribution market.

"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," said GameStop CEO J. Paul Raines.

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James Cobb writer

1 0 0.0
Probably a good thing if GameStop opens the purse and allows Spawn to do more &D.

Posted:5 years ago


Abraham Tatester Producer

76 76 1.0
How about comments form Brad Wardell/Stardock? How does this reflect their strategy?

I'm surprised they sold Impulse—I would have thought that aside from being a place to publish their games, it helped to keep the cash flowing and facilitated their game and software development.

Posted:5 years ago


James Prendergast Research Chemist

783 492 0.6
I wonder how this will impact the EU side of things. Impulse, like Steam, is pretty US centric in deals and content restriction as well as support/servers etc. Gamestop is primarily US focused too so will they just continue to double focus on US-only?

Posted:5 years ago

Impulse actually sells worldwide which I hope stays this way. A local digital strategy doesn't make much sense anyway since you're automatically competing globally like Steam does.

Posted:5 years ago


Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 943 0.7
Hmmm... I wonder how they will screw the gaming industry now... this smells like pre-owned downloadable content sales... ;)

Posted:5 years ago


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