Stardock’s Brad Wardell on GameStop’s Impulse Acquisition
Yesterday, the dashing Mr. Sonntag reported GameStop’s acquisition of Stardock’s digital distribution service, Impulse. A move that’s both a terrifying prospect for hardcore indie PC fans, and a potential boon for PC gamers everywhere. I mean, let’s face it, outside of Steam, most people couldn’t name a PC digital distribution platform. Putting the GameStop name behind Impulse is sure to garner the property greater recognition — possibly growing it to a size that could effectively compete against Steam, and competition is almost always a win for consumers.
Stardock’s Brad Wardell said of the acquisition:
Not everyone’s goal in life is to run a thousand person company. Certainly the path of least resistance would have been to just grow with Impulse and become a digital retailer, but that’s not what I signed up for. 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.
Wardell found that “other way” to be carefully selecting a buyer for his platform. Stardock chose GameStop because they’re already proven retailers and have shown interest in digital platforms as indicated by their purchase of Kongregate last year. Most important to Wardell seems to be the fact that “this is such a huge win for PC gamers.” With GameStop behind a PC service, PC could make its way back into the mainstream.
Once the acquisition deal is finalized, Stardock will just be a developer again, and that’s just they way they want it. They’ll still use Impulse as the exclusive digital platform of their games for the time being, and they’ll have much more time to focus on making great games, or fixing the ones they’ve already released.