Gamestop buys Impulse and Spawn Labs

Impluse Inc., a subsidiary of Stardock Systems Inc., has entered into deal with Gamestop Corp. as part of an acquisition deal wherein Gamestop is buying both Impulse and Spawn Labs. While no valuations were announced, Impulse is on the way to becoming an important player in the digital games distribution industry. Started as a means for Stradock to distribute updates and titles to its customers, it has grown into a standalone platform that now offers a wide range of games from a variety of developers and publishers. Spawn Labs is a games streaming technology development firm that focuses on enabling resource intensive games to be played in the cloud, on any internet-connected device.

Gamestop, with these two companies in hand, is extending its reach far beyond the brick and mortar stores and online shipping methods that it built its business around. Entering into the digital distribution and streaming markets at this stage will require a strong push with meaningful and effective acquisitions, and Gamestop is betting that these two will be the catalysts of a successful market entry. According to J. Paul Raines, CEO of Gamestop,

"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."

According to the press release, Impulse will remain an independent entity and will enjoy full integration at Gamestop.com.

The full press release is below.

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.

Spawn Labs, part of the GameStop network, brings patented technology and a talented team of technologists with unique game streaming and virtualization expertise. The Spawn Labs team will work closely with GameStop's existing R&D group to develop GameStop's growing suite of digital game products and services.

Once the Spawn Labs integration and testing on a new consumer interface is complete, users will have immediate access to a wide selection of high-definition video games on demand on any Internet-enabled device.

"Our customers are gaming in many locations and on many devices, and we need to deliver the same great immersive experience that they have come to expect," said GameStop President Tony Bartel. "Spawn Labs and Impulse provide a customer-friendly and publisher-friendly way for us to accomplish this."

Impulse, Inc. provides a proven digital distribution platform that allows users to quickly and easily find their favorite games and download them to their Internet-connected devices.

J. Paul Raines, chief executive officer of GameStop, said, "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."

For users, developers and publishers, Impulse will offer three specific components:

  • Impulse::Client- allows gamers to have instant access to a library of more than 1,100 games on day one as well as the ability to manage their game-related downloads and purchases.
  • Impulse::Reactor- provides content publishers customer friendly DRM and copy protection tools. It also allows developers to enable achievements, account management, friend lists, chat, multiplayer lobbies, and cloud storage within their games.
  • Impulse::Publisher- allows publishers to manage all aspects of their game with powerful real-time reporting and management tools.

Impulse, Inc. will remain an actively running business with full integration on GameStop.com anticipated within the next few months. To learn more about Impulse, Inc. and Spawn Labs, visit www.impulsedriven.com and www.Spawnlabs.com.

Media Conference Call Information

Tony Bartel, president, and Shawn Freeman, senior vice president and general manager of digital for GameStop, will host a media conference call at 10 a.m. Central Time (11 a.m. Eastern Time) on Monday, April 4, 2011 to discuss the acquisitions. To access the conference call in number and accompanying passcode, media outlets and working journalists should email PublicRelations@GameStop.com. The conference call will be simulcast on the Internet at http://investor.gamestop.com/ and will be archived on the website until April 29, 2011.

 

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30 Comments

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Isn't Impulse/Stardock part of Neowin now? Or vise versa I should say. Will this effect Neowin in any way or is this completely a Stardock selling something it owns off?

Impulse was one of many Stardock owned company/brands, so it doesn't affect us in any way. Neowin is partly owned by Stardock (40%) and we have no affiliation with Impulse, other than the Neowin branded downloader! (which wasn't really popular here anyway).

I gave up on Impulse months ago when it became clear that Stardock wouldn't or couldn't do what was necessary to attract the best games and make them available to anybody outside of the US. I mean looking at their catalogue, you can see that nearly all top games say "Not available in your region" if you live in the UK. Very poor, I use Steam instead which doesn't have this problem.

Vice said,
One irrelevant company buys an irrelevant platform. Match made in heaven.

I would not exactly say Gamestop is "irrelevant".

It's only me or I get the feeling what Neowin doesn't publish any good articles lately?
Wp7 NODO update what never updates and Windows 8 caps?

I like steam BTW, but only for HL2 and Portal. :-P

Gamestop isn't buying Impulse because of it's brand but because of it's technology. This will provide Gamestop a method of distributing content/updates to it's customers in an effort to steal market share from Steam/Direct2Drive.

Impulse wasnt bad, just its games selection sucks and it never has good sales. The only thing id buy on there is Sins and its never on sale anymore. Gamestop is notorious for screwing ppl as well...so idk where i stand on it.

Ive been liking Direct2Drive alot more lately as its been having REALLY good sales as of late and i can just drop most of the keys i get for games on there in steam lol.

seems like a waste of money to me. i hate using impulse to update stardock products, can't imagine having to use it for anything else.

Steam has one major negative flaw, atleast if your a resident within the EU:

All prices are in Euro. On Steam a game which costs 49.99 USD, costs 49.99 Euro within the EU. The two are not even remotely the same.

Using current currency conversion:
49.99 U.S. dollars = 35.3511067 Euros
49.99 Euros = 70.690859 U.S. dollars

The result being, that games bought on Steam is alot more expensive than most game stores where you buy the game with a box, manual and all that "useless" stuff so many people skip these days. Any games i've bought over Steam, have been bought during one of their massive discount sales.

darkthunder said,
Steam has one major negative flaw, atleast if your a resident within the EU:

All prices are in Euro. On Steam a game which costs 49.99 USD, costs 49.99 Euro within the EU. The two are not even remotely the same.

Using current currency conversion:
49.99 U.S. dollars = 35.3511067 Euros
49.99 Euros = 70.690859 U.S. dollars

The result being, that games bought on Steam is alot more expensive than most game stores where you buy the game with a box, manual and all that "useless" stuff so many people skip these days. Any games i've bought over Steam, have been bought during one of their massive discount sales.

Honestly, if it's cheaper elsewhere, buy it there. I enjoy the Steam platform, but I'm not about to pay $50-60 for something I can get for $30, and wouldn't really recommend anyone else to either.

Of course, when it's just a small increase, I don't mind paying a few extra bucks if it means I can get it NOW, don't have to worry about discs, and such. I get that some people like having the box art, and that's cool. Do whatever works best for you.

darkthunder said,
Steam has one major negative flaw, atleast if your a resident within the EU:

All prices are in Euro. On Steam a game which costs 49.99 USD, costs 49.99 Euro within the EU. The two are not even remotely the same.

Using current currency conversion:
49.99 U.S. dollars = 35.3511067 Euros
49.99 Euros = 70.690859 U.S. dollars

The result being, that games bought on Steam is alot more expensive than most game stores where you buy the game with a box, manual and all that "useless" stuff so many people skip these days. Any games i've bought over Steam, have been bought during one of their massive discount sales.

OK true. This is a valid gripe. I would be ****ed off about this as well if I did not live in the US.

sopharine said,
Steam is not awesome but I use it just because it's mandatory if you play Valve games.

How isn't it? Great sales on games, download instantly, can download them forever, over and over - meaning no searching for CDs/DVDs - and lots of other positives.

What are the negatives? Can't cheat on multiplayer or pirate some of the games? Well, thems the breaks.

You can pirate steam games, although the sales are so good I don't why anyone would, its not like the cod series which stay at £30-40 forever.

sopharine said,
Steam is not awesome but I use it just because it's mandatory if you play Valve games.

Steam's positives massively outweigh the negatives, of which I cannot think of any major ones.

Minimoose said,
You can pirate steam games, although the sales are so good I don't why anyone would, its not like the cod series which stay at £30-40 forever.

Steam's positives massively outweigh the negatives, of which I cannot think of any major ones.

steam's damn popups interrupting gameplay with non-steam games is the only one i know of (windows only)

spalek83 said,

steam's damn popups interrupting gameplay with non-steam games is the only one i know of (windows only)

You know you can turn those off right?

Would just like to add my own personal enjoyment of being able to keep up with friends and groups/guilds/clans, especially with the chatroom that comes with them. Really helps allow people to stay together when server hopping without relying on other programs like Xfire and such.

spalek83 said,

steam's damn popups interrupting gameplay with non-steam games is the only one i know of (windows only)

Do they really happen so often that they are annoying? Really? Let alone they are small and in the corner for an almighty 5 seconds.

episode said,

What are the negatives?

The sluggish UI. Mind you, I'm a huge supporter of Steam, but this is the client's main downside.

episode said,

How isn't it? Great sales on games, download instantly, can download them forever, over and over - meaning no searching for CDs/DVDs - and lots of other positives.

What are the negatives? Can't cheat on multiplayer or pirate some of the games? Well, thems the breaks.


What like full price RRP on games, something that costs £40-50 on steam can be bought for nearly half the price from online retailers.

necrosis said,
Do they really happen so often that they are annoying? Really? Let alone they are small and in the corner for an almighty 5 seconds.

being in a game, having the popup minimize the game from full screen, then swapping back to the game, and all in that waiting the the graphics driver to switch ensures that whatever i was doing in the game, i'm garunteed to be dead by the time i get back in the game.

Athernar said,

You know you can turn those off right?

though i had disabled all the notification checkboxes but it seems i missed one. thanks, hopefully it solves it

spalek83 said,

though i had disabled all the notification checkboxes but it seems i missed one. thanks, hopefully it solves it

nope, still does it

spalek83 said,

nope, still does it

Steam Menu->Settings->In-Game Tab->Uncheck Enable Steam Community In-Game

This can also be done on a per game setting too.

spalek83 said,

being in a game, having the popup minimize the game from full screen, then swapping back to the game, and all in that waiting the the graphics driver to switch ensures that whatever i was doing in the game, i'm garunteed to be dead by the time i get back in the game.

Never seen one of Steam's notification pop-ups switch out of a full-screen game. Heck, they don't even show up in a full-screen game. Every now and then I'd alt+tab out and see some pop-up that didn't affect my gameplay in any way. I've seen it happen with other software, though. And yes, I have Steam running constantly.