Stardock CEO responds to GamersGate criticism of Impulse

By Brenna Hillier
13 April 2011 23:32 GMT

Refusing to get into a “pissing contest”, Stardock’s Brad Wardell has dismissed derogatory comments about Impulse from GamersGate CEO Theo Bergquist – but not before taking a jab or two.

“When a company CEO is criticizing another company, you usually learn a lot more about the company doing the criticizing,” Wardell told Industry Gamers.

“I’m not a marketer but I know enough from being in this industry for years, and usually you punch up. You don’t punch down.”

Wardell said the criticism seemed out of place, as he considers GamersGate more a retail outlet like Direct2Drive than a true digital distribution platform like Steam, the App Store – and Impulse.

“What surprised me the most was his comments about the revenue, suggesting that Impulse wasn’t that valuable,” Wardell said.

“My assumption has been that all the digital distributors are making money hand over fist. I mean, we had increased our revenue by over 300% last year. Steam had done the same thing. I assumed that everyone was incredibly profitable at this…

“So it surprised me and made me wonder if maybe these profit margins are only relevant to digital distributors who are running actual platforms like Impulse or Steam”.

Continuing his speculation in this line, Wardell gently hedged around the hot topic of just how much gameStop shelled out to acquire Impulse from Stardock.

“I would have assumed if GamersGate was getting bought that they would get tens of millions of dollars from it, even though we’re pretty sure we have a larger market share than they do,” he said, adding that he now wonders if GamersGate is as profitable as he had thought.

US retailer GameStop recently acquired digital distribution service Impulse from Stardock. GamersGate’s Bergquist took exception to the deal and criticised Impulse’s technology and profitability, calling it “Steam’s lesser talented stepchild”.

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