In its biggest push yet into the digital game market, major video game retailer GameStop today announced a pending purchase of Stardock subsidiary Impulse Inc., including the Impulse digital delivery service, as well as the acquisition of streaming technology company Spawn Labs.
The Impulse purchase, expected to close in May 2011, will give Gamestop a major foothold in the digital delivery market, and will also include the company's Impulse: Reactor and Impulse: Publisher middleware tools.
Stardock's Brad Wardell estimated Impulse had 10 percent of the PC digital game delivery market
in late 2009, with Valve's Steam service taking up a massive 70 percent of the market.
Spawn Labs has been working on a consumer-facing game streaming service since its founding in 2009
. Since then, major competitors including OnLive and Gaikai have launched similar services that stream high-definition games run on servers to all manner of internet-enabled devices.
"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," GameStop CEO J. Paul Raines said in a statement.
After establishing a digital business group
in 2009, GameStop purchased web game portal Kongregate
last year. The company has also been expanding in-store sales of digital content for consoles
with promotions including digital pre-order incentives
An FAQ on the acquisition posted by Stardock
promises no disruption in Impulse service or changes to Impulse accounts in the immediate future. The company says it doesn't expect any layoffs to be associated with the purchase, and notes that Stardock is actually hiring fora variety of positions.]