GameStop to acquire Stardock’s Impulse

Friday, 1st April 2011 02:39 GMT By Brenna Hillier

US retailer GameStop is set to acquire Stardock’s digital distribution business, Impulse, for an undiclosed sum.

Gamasutra reports the acquisition is expected to complete by May, and includes Impulse’s publishing tool suites.

Gamestop chief executive officer J. Paul Raines made a statement to the effect that Gamestop can now get you coming and going.

“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,” he said.

In a post on the Impulse Driven community site, Stardock said it expected little disruption to the service or accounts as part of the ownership change, and that no job cuts were anticipated.

Speaking to Joystiq, founder Brad Wardell said the decision was motivated by his own desire to run a small games studio, not a huge digital distributor.

“Not everyone’s goal in life is to run a thousand person company,” he said, adding “That’s not what I signed up for.”

Impulse had grown to become the company’s primary focus, something Wardell felt was wrong.

“When Impulse became our number one source of revenue I realized it was time for us to look at our options there,” he said.

“Last year, because Impulse’s revenue was growing so much, more resources were being dedicated to it. We were either going to have to become a retailer, or we were going to have to find some other way.”

The founder said Impulse has up to four million users and is growing, and that Gamestop was a natural choice to carry it onwards.

“When you combine our technology, which is start-of-the-art and continuing, with GameStop’s user base and retail experience, you have a pretty compelling story.”

He also described the acquisition as a major win for PC gamers, as it draws flagging retail attention back to the oft-neglected platform.

Impulse was launched as a digital distribution platform in 2008, on the strength of Stardock’s own delivery services up to that time. It holds around 10 percent of the digital PC gaming market share.

Stardock’s core business includes software development as well as games. Its best known products include Sins of a Solar Empire and Elemental: War og Magic.



  1. Grimrita

    Great news for Stardock but hopefully it wont impact on Sins of a Solar Empire, which also needs to be added to Steam to reach a wider audience.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Uncontested

    Surprised I have not heard more on this… Seems like pretty big news to me IMO.. Gamestop is obviously aiming right at Steam with this move, and could easily catch up with them if they market this properly and don’t ruin Impulse.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. absolutezero

    It is massive news but its not really attention grabbing bait.

    I hope this leads to Impulse having more titles and better deals, there was little point in having Impulse apart from the Stardock games themselves, in fact I think I only have Demigod, Sins and Elemental sitting in my Impulse anyway.

    Hopefully Gamestop will leverage some influence over Steam, competition will arise and the prices will be forced down. Basically I want to use Impulse over and above something like Direct2Drive if I can.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DSB

    If it means more competition, lower prices and more sales on Steam, I’m all for it.

    I like Stardock, but I feel pretty guilty whenever I cave to a sale on Impulse. That client is so just so unbelievably bad.

    @1 I think the fact that it isn’t means that a lot of their core audience, myself included, are probably willing to go as far as using Impulse to play it.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Goresh

    Sadly I haven’t actually been able to get a connection using Impulse in almost 3 years and need to use Impulse Anywhere to update my games.
    Sadly it only works for Stardock’s own games, so the stuff I bought previously on Stardock Central is all unavailable now.

    #5 3 years ago

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