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Impulse Sale Good For Indies Say Stardock

We've just spoken to Stardock's boss regarding the story we just reported, that GameStop has purchased Stardock's digital download service, Impulse. And no, it's not an April Fool. The megacorp plans to integrate Impulse into their own website in the coming months, although Stardock say that at least for the foreseeable future Impulse will still be run by its current staff.

This is certain the case in the "near-term", explains Stardock CEO Brad Wardell to us, who thinks that the purchase could be good for independent developers' profiles. You can read his comments below.

We asked Wardell how the acquisition would affect Stardock. He explained,

"Stardock's relationship with Impulse itself won't change much in the near-term since our titles will continue to be sold on it as they are today."

Of course this is because Stardock as a PC games developer has always existed as a separate operation from Impulse. But there's no question that a lot of people were drawn to Impulse because of Stardock's reputation. So what about how this may affect Stardock's laudable treatment of customers? Will GameStop continue the same?

"As for how GameStop will treat the Gamers Bill of Rights, I can't really speak to. Generally speaking, GameStop has always seemed pretty progressive in their sales policies such as with their handling of game trade-ins and such. It'll certainly be good news for independent developers who have traditionally found it difficult to get large-scale distribution but couldn't get onto retail shelves."

The other aspect of this is how it may represent a real challenge for Valve, having a major player like GameStop step into their market. What does Wardell, who enjoys the competition with Steam, think about this?

"Only time will tell. Times are getting interesting."

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John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org