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Default Impulse - Acquired by GameStop

April 1st, 2011, 14:11
No, it's not an April Fool's joke. This isn't specifically RPG-related but I know a lot of readers are fans of Stardock's digital distribution service, Impulse. Yesterday, Brad Wardell reached agreement to sell the service to GameStop. Here's a snip from the press release:
GameStop Announces Acquisition of Spawn Labs and Agreement to Acquire Impulse, Inc.
Streaming technology company and digital distribution platform further advances GameStop's digital strategy
Media conference call with executives scheduled for Monday, April 4

GRAPEVINE, Texas, Mar 31, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) —GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), the world's largest multichannel video game retailer, today announced the acquisition of Spawn Labs, a streaming technology company. In addition, GameStop announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase Impulse, Inc., a subsidiary of Stardock Systems, Inc., and a leader in digital distribution. The Impulse acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in May 2011.
Joystiq has an interview on the subject:
But the most important effect of the deal, according to Wardell, may be a solid boost to the PC gaming market. "This is such a huge win for PC gamers," he said. PC gaming is a market that's long been declared dying, but Wardell says it's just moving away from traditional retail channels, and into digital distribution. "As far as the PC, there's so many other ways to interact with digital entertainment than going to a brick-and-mortar store and buying a box. So having someone like GameStop get involved and become a major player in this space greatly increases the opportunities for developers like us and all of the other indies out there."
More information.

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April 1st, 2011, 14:11
I still prefer retail boxes with physical mediums and with printed handbooks.

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April 1st, 2011, 14:33
Brad's reason "I don't want a larger company" begs either Apr 1st joke or a pile of $$$$ from gamestop. I'm kind of negative towards game-stop myself so I hope this is an apr 1st joke.
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April 1st, 2011, 15:18
Since it was posted on Impulse yesterday it's a valid Press Release. Although I also prefer a Physical Package in some cases that is not possible. Gamestop (EBGames in Canada) has very limited shelf space of PC Games, places like BestButy and FutureShop only stock Popular Titles.
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April 1st, 2011, 15:37
I've never even been in a gamestop as far as I can remember. I used to be with Alirk about wanted the physical medium, but GOG has started to change my mind. Especially after I last tried to install an old game (I think it was either BG2 or IWD) and one of the discs was no longer playable. I like now being able to download it to my server (which is has FlexRAID backup, plus folder duplication) and install as I please.

The only real issue I have with the digital manuals is that if a game forces you into full screen mode, the game minimizes when you toggle to the manual. I have two monitors, so I try to play games windowed when possible on one screen and have the manual open in the other.

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April 1st, 2011, 15:43
sellout!

Gamestop is a mediocre game store that caters to the lowest common denominator. Impulse is a once-promising online retailer that seems to be nipping at the heels of Steam.

unless both of those companies figure out a way to innovate on the level of Steam or even Gamersgate, this deal is gonna result in more mediocrity.

disappointed, but hopeful that Stardock gets its mojo back after Elemental. Then maybe it will be able to throw its weight around again.

:/ :/ :/ :/ :/
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April 1st, 2011, 15:48
I like Impulse more than Steam. You are not required to run a client just to play a game purchased through them. I have only bought Sins of a Solar Empire through Impulse, but the process was pretty easy and I had no problems transferring it to a new PC when I got one last summer.

I am not a fan of Gamestop. My very first impression when they opened their website back in the 90s was negative - I received a Playstation 1 racing game in the mail when I had ordered the PC Action RPG Silver. Over the years I have run into issues in their brick and mortar stores as well. For instance I had bought my daughter a Nintendo DS game for Christmas. When she opened it Christmas day and played it there were save games on it already - they had sold me a used game and tried to pass it off as new. Another time my son had bought a PS2 game. After a week of playing it asked for disk 2, which was not in the package. We went back to the store and they still had the second disk behind the counter. They insisted that to display the game that they had to open them and keep the disks there to deter shoplifting. In both cases they made good, I got an exchange for a new DS game for the used game and the second disk for the PS2 game, but it still required me to make a return trip to the store. Those experiences left me with a bad impression of Gamestop and I have not shopped there since.
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April 1st, 2011, 15:58
Bad doings—-pretty doubtful I'll make any more use of Impulse beyond the promised free updates/expansion things as one of the relatively suckered Elemental early pre-order folks.
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April 1st, 2011, 16:03
Gamestop is notorious for either really pushing used over new (they make a lot more) or selling used as new and then saying "Ohh sorry, that was our mistake."

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April 1st, 2011, 17:21
Gamestop's PC choices have been small and shrinking fast. But then, Impulse's choices have been pretty small, too. But then, Impulse has been willing to take on independents (I got Starpoint Gemeni there). But then, this is a whole new way of doing business for Gamestop, so maybe forcasting what they will put on Impulse by what they have done in brick & mortar isn't a real good way to measure. But then, what if they don't and it becomes just about impossible for people to get games like Galactic Civilizations 2?

Oh yes, the fretting has begun in earnest…

(But then, Google Fiber is coming to town, so I'm still going to be in a mighty good mood whatever happens!)
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April 1st, 2011, 18:15
Originally Posted by gumbomasta View Post
Gamestop is a mediocre game store that caters to the lowest common denominator.
That's very much how I see it as well.

But that's also the source of their success, sadly.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 1st, 2011, 18:17
Not sure how to feel about this. While I generally prefer Steam - I can live with their client and DRM (and at this point, my games library overwhelmingly lives there), I've used Impulse and Stardock Central consistently for Stardock offerings and have always appreciated how cleanly it worked. I've certainly been window shopping there a lot more frequently of late as well for indies and older games. I guess I just don't have a lot of faith that gamestop is going to be healthy for the platform, or online content delivery in general, based on my experiences with their Bricks and Mortar stores.
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April 1st, 2011, 18:23
By the way, I find it funny that the press release mentions a town called "Grapevine, Texas" … This sounds to me much like "I heard it through the grapevine" …

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April 1st, 2011, 20:15
This doesn't make any sense to me. Stores exist(ed) because people need(ed) a place to go buy stuff, and the makers of the stuff for the most part couldn't afford to have their own stores. But if you're going to the web to buy something by just paying with a credit card and downloading it, what value does a middle man like Gamestop add to this process? Why can't we just download from the publisher, or even the devs? Bandwidth is cheap as dirt, turnkey storefront solutions are cheap as dirt, I don't understand this at all. Is it just because people aren't going to know where to find the games if they're not all together on a major website? Like people aren't going to just google "Divinity 2" or something?
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April 1st, 2011, 20:37
Worst.April.Fools.EVAR. Seriously, WTF… cuz April Fools follows the Geneva Convention rule that if you say it's NOT an April Fool's joke, it can't still be one.
Last edited by PegasusOrgans; April 1st, 2011 at 21:10.
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April 1st, 2011, 20:45
Well, hopefully GameStop will be able sponsor better sales. Don't see any other possible advantage.
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April 1st, 2011, 20:47
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
By the way, I find it funny that the press release mentions a town called "Grapevine, Texas" This sounds to me much like "I heard it through the grapevine"
I grew up about 10 miles from Grapevine. Let me tell you, while it has improved in the past decade, Grapevine is still a shithole. Probably appropriate for GameStop to be located there.

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April 1st, 2011, 21:01
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I grew up about 10 miles from Grapevine. Let me tell you, while it has improved in the past decade, Grapevine is still a shithole. Probably appropriate for GameStop to be located there.
Does it include amongst its populace anthropomorphic grapes with sunglasses?
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April 1st, 2011, 21:04
Not that I am aware of, but it is certainly possible.

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April 1st, 2011, 21:30
Yes, they work for Hardees, or at least that's what I heard.

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