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Free-to-play interface for digital download service announced.

San Francisco, CA., March  1, 2011 – Digital distributor Impulse, Inc. (  announced the addition of several new features designed to enable developers easily add “free to play” type features to their PC games.  The next beta drop of its forthcoming game developer platform SDK, Impulse::Reactor, scheduled in March, is expected to include an in-game store experience, feature unlocking, and seamless downloadable content management all managed from an easy to use developer portal. Parent company Stardock Entertainment has begun to migrate all its titles to utilize the new features of Impulse::Reactor.

“The increasing growth of the free to play model along with premium downloadable content has created a lot of interest in the game development community for tools that make it easy to integrate these capabilities into their games,” said Brad Wardell, CEO of Impulse, Inc.

Impulse::Reactor has been in beta for the past year to select development partners. It enables game developers to add DRM, multiplayer match-making, community features, and DLC support. The March beta update will be adding feature unlocking and premium DLC support.

What makes Impulse::Reactor compelling is that it does not require an external client to be included with the game. Instead, the developer only has to include the Impulse::Reactor DLLs with their title and pick and choose which features of it they wish to make use of.  The new features of Impulse::Reactor streamline the process of managing the selected features and content and vastly reduces implementation time as it integrates seamlessly with other SDKs. Because it doesn’t require an external client, it is more palatable to retailers and digital distributors since it is ‘vendor neutral.’

“This is particularly cool for gamers,” said Wardell. “When a gamer loads up their game, they will see an option called ‘Add Features.’ Choosing this option will take them to an in-game catalog that displays all features available. Some features may be content (maps, campaigns, levels, skins, items, quests, etc.). Other features may be extensions to the game itself (multiplayer, new game modes, etc.). This allows for greater selection and choice on the gamer’s end, and on the developer end, a more streamlined development experience with greater value add.”

“We see the free to play model for PC gaming becoming increasingly dominant over the next couple of years across multiple genres,” said Brian Clair, director of publishing for Stardock. “Impulse::Reactor will let our customers begin to pick and choose what features and content they want, allowing us to reduce the up-front price on our games in the future.”

Impulse::Reactor v1.0 is still in internal beta and is only available to select developers.  Visit to sign up for the beta. 

General availability of Impulse::Reactor v1.0 is anticipated in summer 2011.

To learn more about Impulse, visit

About Impulse

Impulse enables users to quickly purchase, download, install and update any of thousands of available games, applications, and utilities to their machine. Once purchased, the program becomes associated with their account. If a user purchases a new PC or reformats an existing PC, a user can install Impulse, log in with their account and instantly re-download all their programs.

About Stardock

Stardock is one of the world's leading developers and publishers of PC games and desktop software. Its PC games include the award-winning  Sins of a Solar Empire as well as the critically acclaimed  Galactic Civilizations  series. Its desktop software includes  Object DesktopWindowBlinds, and a host of other programs for customizing the Windows experience. Learn more about Stardock by visiting  

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