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GameStop Buys Impulse From Stardock

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the that-internet-thing-might-be-here-to-stay dept.

PC Games (Games) 109

Daetrin writes "It was announced Thursday that Stardock has sold Impulse, the digital game store, to GameStop. Stardock founder Brad Wardell gave an interview to Joystiq talking about the sale and the reasons behind it. GameStop also announced their acquisition of SpawnLabs, a game streaming company. It seems that GameStop is looking to challenge Steam, or at least avoid being cut out of the digital distribution business entirely."

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One more... (4, Informative)

Daetrin (576516) | about 3 years ago | (#35716754)

And here's another article from 1UP. [1up.com]

Re:One more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35716978)

Here are the main articles on this sale on the Impulse Driven forums (the official forums of the website):
http://forums.impulsedriven.com/407118 [impulsedriven.com]
http://forums.impulsedriven.com/407127 [impulsedriven.com]

The issue is fairly well discussed by a user named WhiteElk here: http://forums.impulsedriven.com/407127/get;2916363 [impulsedriven.com] and here: http://forums.impulsedriven.com/407127/get;2916493 [impulsedriven.com]

The TL;DRFA version is that GameStop seems to be strongly loathed by the same people who would be their customers, i.e users of Impulse. People are concerned that they will no longer be able to access the games they paid for or that there will be a mandatory update or the inclusion of DRM. Although one could dismiss these issues by pointing to the EULA, it ignores the original "spirit" (for lack of a better term) of Impulse/Stardock, the "spirit" laid out by the CEO himself, including reduced/no DRM, supporting Indie development, and most importantly, the Gamer Bills of Rights.

Perhaps Gamestop will actually make something interesting out of Impulse, but I doubt it. I think unfortunately they will not innovate and will copy Steam instead.

Re:One more... (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 3 years ago | (#35719122)

Perhaps Gamestop will actually make something interesting out of Impulse, but I doubt it. I think unfortunately they will not innovate and will copy Steam instead.

GameStop's ran by bean counters - StarDock by gamers and developers. Who would expect anything good out of it?

Re:One more... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 3 years ago | (#35719804)

Stardock is also ran by bean counters. They've had two massive failures in the past couple of years with the terrible games they make.

They had to sell it to avoid bankruptcy.

Re:One more... (1)

emkyooess (1551693) | about 3 years ago | (#35720802)

Stardock's spirit was a myth. Requiring Impulse (+accounts) to download patches (especially critical ones) is DRM too. Then they did that whole Reactor/GOO stuff that is Steam with a different name.

Re:One more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35720908)

Stardock's entire reputation is bullshit.

They're one of the worst game studios in the country.

Might Save Impulse (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | about 3 years ago | (#35716768)

Especially if GameStop can afford larger discounts for the sales. Impulse never let anything go at prices as attractive as Steam.

Re:Might Save Impulse (4, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | about 3 years ago | (#35716804)

Impulse kind of suffers from being halfway between Steam and Good Old Games.

On average Impulse doesn't have base prices as cheap as Good Old Games.
On average Impulse doesn't have sales discounts as large as Steam
Impulse has more DRM than GOG.
Impulse doesn't have as many really old games as GOG.
Impulse doesn't have as many big new games as Steam.
Impulse doesn't have achievements or community features like the Steam client does.
But Impulse does force you to use a client, unlike GOG.

I like Impulse, and i have bought a number of games from them, but they're certainly not the ones that i've bought the most games from. For just about any single category of comparison either Steam or GOG outperforms it. If it was just a competition between Impulse and _one_ of the other two they'd probably be doing pretty well for themselves, but as things stand...

Re:Might Save Impulse (1)

Ninth Marion (1310141) | about 3 years ago | (#35716896)

Impulse has more DRM than GOG.

The reason buying games from GOG is a no-brainer for me is because they don't have any DRM, and are vehemently against it on principle. Just to be clear, as suggesting it has less DRM is like saying your drink has less urine in it than this one over here... no urine for me, please!

Re:Might Save Impulse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35716926)

Not really. CD checks were despised for many years, but now people would welcome them back with open arms -- modern DRM is just that awful.

Re:Might Save Impulse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35718584)

The main reason I remember people hating CD checks in games like Diablo and Warcraft was because it stopped you from popping a music cd in the drive to listen to at the same time, and with HDDs being so tiny at the time, we didn't have space to back up our playlists without dedicated hdds for it.

Re:Might Save Impulse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35716906)

The problem with Steam competitors is that Steam is intrinsically locked in... even though you're free to leave Valve. Everyone likes the simplicity of having one central hub. Steam essentially won by being good enough and by getting there first.

Steam is actually fine (2)

Plekto (1018050) | about 3 years ago | (#35717022)

This is an old argument. There is a way around it.

1 - Steam doesn't ever include DRM on their end. If the application in question does install DRM as part of the setup, you can safely excise it from your system and the game will still run since the Steam application actually controls your right to access it/run the program. A typical Steam re-install is to download everything and then purge SecuRom. Thankfully virtually all of the games on Steam use this, so one brute-force purge at the end is enough to get it all at once.

When making a new system build, I generally get the firewall and other AV software running, make a backup of Documents and Settings take a physical screen shot of the applications folder, and also the system folders. Then set Steam to go overnight. Purging Securom is easy as pie - yank out all new registry changes, delete and rip out anything new on the drive that's not in the Steam folder or obviously Steam related, and do the same with the system folder. You should end up with a clean SecuRom-free system with Steam on it. That said, it's not as good as GoG. But GoG doesn't have the new games, either.

note - there are a few older games that use StarForce, so you do need to check before you buy. I "lost" a drive because of this. IDE drives brick themselves easily under windows. Get a SCIS or SATA DVD drive - something that doesn't use PIO mode at all and never will. Because once Windows has marked a drive as faulty, you'll never get it running properly again. note - the drive worked fine in an Apple afterwards and probably would in a new system. Windows needs to stop this idiocy because this is why DRM "kills" drives. The DRM generates errors and hang=ups and eventually Windows marks the drive as defective and you're done.

Steam really should crack down on the developers to only give them DRM free installers. But is is possible to have a DRM free Steam install.

2 - More importantly, all games on Steam can be run without being connected. You have to go into each and every game and turn off "keep this program up to date". You also have to turn Steam Community completely off. Then and only then can you go offline and have things run properly. The easiest way to do this is to unplug your computer(or disable steam in your firewall) from your router and reboot. Run Steam and it will complain and then give up. Reboot again and connect the internet back. You're good to go without ever hearing from Steam again.

Re:Steam is actually fine (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717474)

This is why Steam is successful: fanboys. It's like with Apple. Guys like you simply redefine things out of existence, even if they are as worse than elsewhere.

Steam IS DRM. It's online activation, tied to an online account, client-overhead laden, they-control-everything DRM. Sure there are some community features but first and foremost, Steam is DRM. Every single game on Steam contains one of the most restrictive DRMs.

If Ubisoft or EA do it, it's utmost evil. If Steam doesn it, hey it's not even DRM, it's rainbows, sunshine and happy fun time!

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Tukz (664339) | about 3 years ago | (#35717522)

Steam is acceptable DRM, therein lies the difference.

Re:Steam is actually fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717576)

Acceptable DRM is an oxymoron.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about 3 years ago | (#35717646)

Why is that so? I only have few games on steam, original HL and cs, hl2, css, gmod. And i find steam pretty nice. They provide me with a copy of all my games that i can download anywhere whenever i want. In my case i can play them all offline no problem whenever i want as well. Its nice not having to worry about finding CD's whenever i want to play the game.

Re:Steam is actually fine (2)

Rysc (136391) | about 3 years ago | (#35718516)

What you just did was either deliberate or innocent but it is certainly confusing the issue. GP: "Foo is bad, we don't want foo. Bar has foo, so we don't want bar." You: "But Foo has Baz! Baz is great, why wouldn't you want baz?" Don't do this, it makes you look like a troll.

The service that Steam provides is nice: online backups of games, easy reinstallation, etc.. That's a great service that any gamer should have the ability to opt in to for any game. I'd pay good money for that!

But DRM is just plain evil and no amount of it is acceptable. Online activation? Validity checks? Today maybe it's not too bad, but one day someone *will* go all Kindle on me and delete my game from my account and then remotely wipe it from my computer, because the copyright holder said so. "Jim, we're simply not selling enough copies of Superior KillZone 7. I think too many people are still playing Superior KillZone 6! Do a remote update and replace the game with an offer to upgrade to 7. Offer a 5$ discount." This isn't just possible, it's certain.

I do not want to be 'managed' by the game publisher. You take my money, I take your game. After that I never want to hear from you again until *I* decide to contact *you*. You don't deserve any information about me or what I do with your game or whether I install it once or a hundred times.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | about 3 years ago | (#35719332)

So the only downside is a hypothetical tinfoil hat conspiracy theory? okay!

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 years ago | (#35720048)

So the only downside is a hypothetical tinfoil hat conspiracy theory? okay!

That's what the detractors at the first continental congress said. "checks and balances? Ha! Paranoid!"

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

schnell (163007) | about 3 years ago | (#35721952)

But DRM is just plain evil and no amount of it is acceptable.

So your position is that any technology a software publisher use to validate that you are authorized to use the software is inherently "evil?" The "honor system" is the only thing you find acceptable?

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 years ago | (#35718814)

They provide a copy of your games now. Who's to say they won't change the terms on the deal? Maybe they'll say up to 5 free downloads and they cost a dollar after that? Maybe they'll sell gaming tiers like XBL where free downloads only happen if you pay a sub. Maybe they'll spin a sob story how most users are good but a few nasty users are forcing to do this by downloading their games too much.

I agree Steam can be convenient, but it is a service and if they change the terms, guess what, you get to like it or fuck off. Problem is soon there may be very few other places to fuck off to. I guess Impulse was the main competitor and if Gamestop buy it out it might provide some level of competition, but how much remains to be seen.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about 3 years ago | (#35722104)

You can always buy physical media. Tbh this is why i prefer consoles. I put my disc in my console and that shit just works.

Re:Steam is actually fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35718960)

No DRM is acceptable. Steam fanboys like you are part of the problem.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 years ago | (#35718782)

Steam is DRM all right. As far as DRMs go it is fairly innocuous and transparent when you stay on its good books. But we've seen numerous stories where people have been shut out of their own accounts containing hundreds of dollars of purchases for alleged transgressions.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about 3 years ago | (#35722616)

Every single game on Steam contains one of the most restrictive DRMs.

No, not [steampowered.com] every [steampowered.com] game [steampowered.com] does.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Mascot (120795) | about 3 years ago | (#35717590)

1 - Steam doesn't ever include DRM on their end.

Were that the case, you'd never need to go online to use a backup of a Steam game on another computer. Heads up, online activation = DRM. Steam = online activation. Personally, I find it acceptable because it doesn't limit the _amount_ of activations, and also because it is fairly weakly implemented. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist though.

And you can't just "purge" third party DRM easily. Were that the case noone would have worried about schemes like Ubisoft's always-online DRM.

More importantly, all games on Steam can be run without being connected.

See previous line.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Plekto (1018050) | about 3 years ago | (#35717824)

Yes, technically you have to connect to download them and buy them, but remaining connected is optional. So if their servers die you can still run your games. Very few people know this, though. I found it out when I moved a couple of years ago and it took them 3 weeks to get DSL service in. Steam still worked. That shows that they are at least making an effort to ride the fine line between DRM that works as a business and DRM that is there to just piss off everyone (Ubisoft and Sony, for example).

I don't really consider Steam to be DRM in the classical sense as it's more like the SSL connection that you use when you access your bank account online. Yes, there's control at the gate but beyond that, it's truly not seen or felt. Once you are in, you're free to do whatever you want. There's even an option to install custom mods and tell it to leave these specific titles alone in the future (I have two titles like that in fact)

The only service that I've seen that is less intrusive is Direct2Drive. A simple passkey combination and the installer is good to go. They even email it to you as a nice bonus. Very nice to work with.

GOG, of course, is awesome. I've bought several titles from them. But technically that also has DRM in a way as you have to log in to download/re-download the games.

Securom on the other hand is blatant, obvious, nasty, and hits you in the face every time it runs. That it also messes with DVD burning software and mangles drives to the point where you have to mess with your bios and registry to fix the problem is plainly too much. Also Steam when you remove it is gone. Securom has the same staying power and nastiness of a typical virus. Even using their "removal tool" on their website only gets rid of half of it. Gone should be gone.

Ubisoft, well, that's just them being asshats. I refuse to buy anything from them even with DRM removed just out of principle. Nasty, buggy, non-optimized, copy-protection overloaded junk. EA and Sony are almost as bad, so they also won't get my money. No big loss.

Re:Steam is actually fine (2)

Mascot (120795) | about 3 years ago | (#35718352)

Yes, technically you have to connect to download them and buy them, but remaining connected is optional.

True, but only for that computer. If the servers die, you are now forced to keep that computer running, because you have no way of activating your Steam account on a new computer. If it wasn't DRM, I would be able to do a restore of a Steam backup on an offline computer, and start playing. You can't, you need to go online at least once to log in.

Then there's all the third party DRM that's added into most major titles these days. It's a bit of a minefield. Steam offers me so much convenience I can live with the very lax DRM it incorporates. But I never buy a title that has additional DRM added.

I don't see your logic with regards to GOG. Or, more bluntly, you're wrong. You're mixing the purchase process, and the post-purchase service offering, with the product itself. What you buy and download has no DRM whatsoever. You can take that file and install it on a thousand offline computers and play until the computers burn out if you so choose. That you need to identify yourself if you want to re-download a game, so that GOG knows which games to provide you access to, is something completely different. It's a post-purchase service they offer so you're not SOL if you can't manage to keep backups of what you bought.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Pandur77 (1172799) | about 3 years ago | (#35718384)

You can only start Steam in offline mode if you've started all your games at least once while being connected to their servers. If you got one game installed that you haven't run since you (re)installed Windows and/or Steam you're unable to start Steam in offline mode. I found this out the hard way when I was without internet for a couple days after a recent reinstall so many installed games had not been launched since the reinstall.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Plekto (1018050) | about 3 years ago | (#35719938)

I forgot to mention this as well. It's a fairly minor and normally routine step, though, to run and configure the video settings for each game that you install.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

mad_minstrel (943049) | about 3 years ago | (#35721418)

What if internet is unavailable and you want to reinstall that game you've made a nifty Steam backup of explicitly for this purpose? No gaming for you!

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Plekto (1018050) | about 3 years ago | (#35724596)

Unless you have to do a complete system install, you can backup the right files right into the directory again (you can't just back up the entire Steam folder - it's a little more complicated than that). Then again I don't see Steam dropping this service for the next decade or more. By the time that Steam dies and the servers switch off, we'll all be using quantum computers or the machines will have taken over. ie - when Windows dies and is gone for a decade like DOS is, then you'd have to worry about your crappy old abandonware.

By that time, GOG will have the games for $5 or less as "classic" games anyways.

Plus, to be honest, I just don't get the whining about Steam. They have a business to run and this actually is a system that works reasonably well and keeps piracy at a minimum while being as unobtrusive as possible. There is no free lunch and there will be some sort of DRM or Sales/Account management or ID verification process or similar, so at some point you'll have to jump through a couple of hoops and hurdles and pay your fair price for the game. Direct2Drive is also similar. I have a DVD with my installs on it and a text file with the keys. If I lose that, well, yes, I have to download them again from D2D the same as Steam and jump through the same verification hurdles such that if their company dies, I'm boned. (keep your backups safe, ya?)

If you're still not happy, well, then you're being simply unreasonable. Nobody makes a game for the love of it any more and they deserve to be paid for their work. Yes, you bought the game and you should be able to do whatever you want with it. But they also have to make sure and verify that you are who you say you are. Re-downloading the game or installer package can't be done on faith any more. If all of that (whew) is still too hard, just buy the physical software.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

mad_minstrel (943049) | about 3 years ago | (#35724944)

Actually, I have over a hundred games on Steam and I'm reasonably happy with it. It's just that you said the problem is minor, but it has affected me at least a couple of times now. And I don't believe it's at all unreasonable to ask that my backups work without an internet connection. Steam could encrypt the backup with a key tied to my account upon creation and, yes, if it later decrypts, just believe it's mine and let me run it. Such backups would be useless to anybody else, and the verification you speak of would still take place - just not on first run, but on installation of the Steam client.

Re:Steam is actually fine (1)

Plekto (1018050) | about 3 years ago | (#35726066)

Yeah, that's probably true. It's also why I install Steam first and then make a disk image with it, the OS, and a few other things as a backup. If there's a crash, it's easier to just reinstall everything that way. But, yes, D2D does make it easier as the installers work just fine even years later on a different system.

Re:Steam is actually fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35719714)

That's simply not true. Steam modifies many of the games slightly, a fact I'm all too aware of after some of the non-AAA titles I've bought from Steam have had patches released, but Steam would be slow to update, taking weeks or even months. Sacred 2 and Eschalon: Book 2 both come to mind. You couldn't just download the patch from the developer and install it yourself because the Steam version of the game is modified.

That said, I love Steam. They get it mostly right. Sure, I'd prefer no DRM on my games, but I live in the real world and can accept that it simply isn't going to happen, and I'm not going to stop buying games out of protest. But I do get frustrated when I'm unable to patch the game myself.

Re:Might Save Impulse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717710)

Why does it have to be "this or that", "either or", "there can only be one"? There's room for more than 1 or 2 stores in the world. At least as long as there is competition. Let's hope no one store can achieve a monopoly because then you'd get the worst of all stores combined into one.

I happily buy from Gamersgate, Impulse, GoG, Green Man Gaming, Gamestreamer, Metaboli, Desura or directly from developers (except Steam, don't like them). They all have their own advantages, disadvantages, sales, different prices and different games. There will never be The One store that is better than all others in every single aspect.

Each of them has its advantages, so I don't see any reasonable point in restricting myself to only buying from a single store.

Re:Might Save Impulse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35721168)

A) Good Ol' Games serves a different market than Impulse. Comparing the two is an apples and oranges issue.

B) You conveniently forgot to mention how Impulse is better than Steam, such as the lack of encryption as a DRM in Impulse. (A long standing problem where many Steam games have patches that never got pushed through Steam and thus you can't actually use the latest patch since it modifies the executable which is normally encrypted by Steam).

You don't need to use the client .. (1)

roguegramma (982660) | about 3 years ago | (#35721842)

You don't need to use the impulse client, if you spend the time on some extra hacking. Sadly, I didn't feel like spending the time again to get the newest update of Sins of a Solar Empire work the windows 2000 box(no impulse).

Re:Might Save Impulse (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 3 years ago | (#35717060)

I saw Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition for $10 cheaper on Impulse than it was on steam, both were on sale.

Re:Might Save Impulse (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 3 years ago | (#35717360)

One of the only reasons I ever used Impulse was because I liked Stardock as a company (particularly in their attitude to DRM). Other than that, it's a bloaty client and not the best prices.

Without the incentive to support Stardock, I'll be moving to a service that doesn't bother with the client (GOG, GamersGate, Game.co.uk, etc.). Without Stardock, Impulse is basically Steam Lite.

Re:Might Save Impulse (1)

garatheus (993376) | about 3 years ago | (#35717464)

Impulse -- Bloaty client? It has an offline installer that ranges in around the 20MB download range... As someone living in South Africa where the broadband is expensive and I rarely connect to the Internet - using Impulse is a dream compared to something like Steam - which from what I gather: A) doesn't have an offline installer (correct me if I'm wrong here - I scoured their site for hours on Friday at work) B) the offline installers I have found seem to be hacked together, and in the range of 700-800MB... (now that is bloat...) Coupled that there is certain functionality that can only be done from within the Steam client (gifting), I'm very unimpressed with Steam. Oh, and that I have to create a separate account for Steam, then one for their forums, and then another one for their support - Stardock at least has it right and when I log in to Impulse Driven, it logs me in across ALL their sites, giving me access to Sins of a Solar Empire / Elemental / any other forum... I'm a very happy Stardock customer (see you are too) and I just wonder how it's going to affect myself here in RSA.

Doesn't need saving (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 3 years ago | (#35717534)

The reason it got sold, according to Stardock's owner, is that it has been growing really profitable and taking over a lot of their business. That isn't what he wants for Stardock, he wants it to be Brad's Ye Olde Software Shoppe more or less so when Gamestop started sniffing around, Impulse was sold.

Could he be lying? Sure, but I cannot see why he would. Remember Stardock is not a public company and is not beholden to investors. It is owned and run by Brad Wardell and is his toy to do with as he likes.

You can look through the comments in these threads (http://frogboy.impulsedriven.net/article/407118/Gamestop_Impulse and http://frogboy.impulsedriven.net/article/407127/Gamestop_Impulse_and_Stardock [impulsedriven.net] ). Frogboy is Wardell. He claims Impulse was getting to be too much of their business and that isn't what he was interested in. I am guessing that Gamestop was sniffing around for a digital distributor to buy (easier to buy an existing one than to try and make one from scratch) and that is what happened.

Since there are no shareholders or anything like that to keep happy, all he has to decide is that he wants to do it. Maybe it isn't the best idea, money wise, in the long term but maybe he figures he already has enough money. If you've ever heard him speak it is clear he's a geek and as such I could see why more and more money isn't his top concern.

So while Impulse isn't as successful as Steam, it is still quite successful apparently. Remember: You don't have to be the biggest to be a success.

Re:Doesn't need saving (1)

mcvos (645701) | about 3 years ago | (#35718168)

Brad is incredibly lucky. He can make business decisions based on what he likes, rather than on what makes the most profit. A very enviable position.

Re:Doesn't need saving (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35719878)

I've heard from insiders at Stardock that it was sold because they're very rapidly approaching insolvency.

Their desktop modification business is beginning to fail with many of the new initiatives Microsoft, Dell and others are taking in regards to cleaning up the Windows desktop to take on Apple.

Their games business has never really made money I guess. Impulse was an easy way to keep themselves out of the bank's clutches for a couple of years.

Re:Doesn't need saving (1)

mcvos (645701) | about 3 years ago | (#35720964)

I thought their games business had some pretty big successes on pretty small budgets.

And if Impulse is the only think keeping them alive, wouldn't it be rather stupid to sell it?

Re:Doesn't need saving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35720086)

Brad is lucky, but he is a good business man. He is a good guy and I'm glad he is focusing on the PC game business because it is better off for him being there.

I actually know Brad personally, hence the AC.

Re:Might Save Impulse (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#35718990)

Steam? Attractive prices? You know you can usually download new releases from Amazon for about $5 less than from Steam, right?

Evolving, or buying out a competitor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35716770)

Pretty much the question I'm asking myself here. Maybe GameStop has a deal with Valve in the works? Who knows.

Re:Evolving, or buying out a competitor? (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | about 3 years ago | (#35720754)

I didn't know GameStop was even still around. I have been buying all of my games on Steam lately. No need for a store front.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35716794)

How many years too late?

Gamestop will go bankrupt just like Blockbuster.

Re:lol (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#35717642)

Man I hope not, as GS is one of the few B&M that actually still have a decent selection of PC games (at least in my area) and gamers actually working the desk that will tell you if a game sucks (again at least in my area) so it makes it a great place to take the teens when they want a new console title.

That said the triple punch of MMOs,games tied to accounts and Steam will probably kill it dead. If the consoles tie games to accounts that will kill first sale and wipe out the used games market, pretty much the only reason anyone uses GS anymore. I've already noticed that while my local GS used to be full there are less and less there when I show up, and while the youngest still uses them the oldest moved to a MMO which pretty much killed his buying from GS.

So while I'll probably miss it, as they usually had good sales on the PC games between Amazon, Steam, and GOG if the youngest doesn't want to swing by the GS frankly I have no reason to go anymore. The sales on Steam and GOG are just nuts, and often I find it cheaper to add a game to my cart at Amazon to get free shipping than to pay shipping costs, so now I have a pile of games I haven't even gotten around to yet. To me that is one of the nice things about being a PC gamer, frankly we have a glut of dirt cheap games and if all I did was game for the next 6 months I'd probably not be caught up!

Hairyfeet's "GREATEST HITS" (lmao - NOT!)... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35719394)

See subject-line above, & these "prime examples" below via links to the originals of WHY hairyfeet shouldn't have gone to "ITT Tech" (because he clearly doesn't even understand how HOSTS files benefit you for added security, speed, and even to a degree extra 'anonymity' online):

---

Static vs. Dynamic (lol, "according to hairyfeet"):

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35681060 [slashdot.org]

---

Hairyfeet's single solutions SECURITY FAILURES? See inside:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2064694&cid=35690260 [slashdot.org]

---

Your sources on "security" vs. mine (actual security people) (AND myself, a source on it):

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2064694&cid=35690328 [slashdot.org]

---

Only thing constantly changing's your "math", 3x ++ or more no less:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35686444 [slashdot.org]

and

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35686566 [slashdot.org]

as well as this:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35686630 [slashdot.org]

---

Lastly, as to your LIBEL of myself (w/ arstech):

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35668740 [slashdot.org]

---

The defeat of hairyfeet by APK (video analogy - hilarious, BUT, apt):

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2064694&cid=35690536 [slashdot.org]

---

They say it all, & usually vs. hairyfeet's own words quoted! I wouldn't pay him too much heed, especially after you read the above b.s., lies, changing figures, & even LIBEL of others that hairyfeet likes to do. After all - he's from "ITT Tech" (student).

APK

P.S.=> Personally though - because hairyfeet is only a "techie"? I suspect he doesn't want people to know about HOSTS files' added LAYERED SECURITY benefits to the end-user: Why? Because if users stop getting so much "malware-in-general" which layered security (and HOSTS) give you added layered protection against, he's out money...apk

And They'll fail (1)

MasseKid (1294554) | about 3 years ago | (#35716918)

People like steam because it's NOT gamestop. Steam evolved as a response to everything that was wrong with gamestop. Buying a new storefront isn't going to change the problems with gamestop, it's only going to ruin the storefront.

Re:And They'll fail (4, Informative)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 3 years ago | (#35716944)

People like steam because it's NOT gamestop. Steam evolved as a response to everything that was wrong with gamestop. Buying a new storefront isn't going to change the problems with gamestop, it's only going to ruin the storefront.

GameStop doesn't have the same worldwide recognition as Steam either. Where I am, Steam is a positively recognised brand and GameStop is virtually unknown. Unless GameStop/Impulse are planning a massive marketing push, I don't see them as having the visibility of Steam internationally.

Re:And They'll fail (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 3 years ago | (#35717040)

Good point. Steam is known around the world. GameStop is just an American (and Canadian?) store (honestly don't know - never heard of it myself).

* * *

OK instead of just posting the above drivel I looked it up on Wikipedia. GameStop is originally American but has acquired games stores in many other countries. So while I'm Australian and have never heard of GameStop, they are the parent company of EB Games (which we most definitely do have here). In fact it appears they trade using quite a few different names. I wonder if they have considered a consolidation - renaming all their stores to one name to boost global brand recognition.

Still I prefer Steam to any physical games retail store because in this country, at least, we get shafted on the price of physical boxed games. Steam is much cheaper. (Though importing a boxed game from the US is cheaper still ... lucky Americans don't know how cheap their prices are by world standards!).

Re:And They'll fail (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 3 years ago | (#35717168)

Name recognition won't be their problem. Gamestop and the retail stores have always been in the pocket of the major game publishers like EA and Ubisoft. Yes they had disputes with them over resale of used games but otherwise they bowed to their wishes. Impulse will be changed, it will get some nice draconian DRM installed and all it's advantages against Steam will be destroyed. With the few advantages gone the company will die quickly. The game publishers will see to this even though that won't be their intent. In fact they might even convince a few publishers to dump steam to their detriment.

After about a year or two the company will die under it's own dead weight. Impulse hasn't been very successful and I have no doubt that adding all the DRM GameStop is sure to add will only hasten it's demise. Steam has been successful precisely because it's not run by EA or Ubisoft. It's run by a developer who understands what gamers want and what rights they are willing to trade for certain benefits. GameStop will run Impulse just like EA and Ubisoft tell them to and it will be as spectacular a failure as any other attempt by them.

You're joking, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35718718)

Gamestop and the retail stores have always been in the pocket of the major game publishers like EA and Ubisoft.

Hate to burst your bubble, but GameStop makes most of their profit by selling *used* games, thereby depriving EA and Ubisoft of new game sales. GameStop is not exactly liked by the console game developers I know.

Re:And They'll fail (1)

Simploid (1649955) | about 3 years ago | (#35717194)

2-3 years ago steam was charging the same US price in Australia which made it about half price. Now my guess is that the some publishers have closed that loop hole so we get a price much closer to the brick shops in Australia than used too. Australian Dollar is roughly has the same value as the US one at the moment.

For example I just looked up steam

Games ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, steam ,,,,, EB games

Shogun total war,, AU$ 89 ,,, AU$ 98

Dragon Age 2,,,,,, AU$ 69 ,,, AU$ 88

AC Brotherhood,,, AU$ 49 ,,, AU$ 88

The same can't be said about impulse. That said, impulse has those huge discounts that more than makes up for the added cost. The majority of my games are from steam.

The DRM is lighter on impulse as well based on my experience. I have two games from them and I run them even without having the impulse client.

The problem with impulse is that their game collection is no where as extensive as steams and many of the more recognized games or bundles are not offered in Australia. There were many time that I wanted to buy a game bet when I went to the page it gave me a message about the game not being available in my region. Never had that experience in Steam.

Re:And They'll fail (1)

romiz (757548) | about 3 years ago | (#35717504)

[It] gave me a message about the game not being available in my region. Never had that experience in Steam.

That's because Steam doesn't always display this kind of message. Any info corresponding to a game not available in your country can be hidden, as if it never existed. You can search for it, but you will find nothing. Yet, if you go to the 'Achievements by game' page, it is there all right in the list. But you can't buy it, you can't even see the store info for it.

Re:And They'll fail (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 3 years ago | (#35717814)

Not only that, if you move countries, you may find that all of a sudden, all the games you legitimately purchased on Steam no longer work (if you are detected to be connecting from a region that differs from the license region you bought the software in). Tends to happen most often on games that were purchased in a 'cheap' region, then played in an 'expensive' region (e.g. buy game from Steam while in Brazil, then attempt to play it on a PC in the USA).

Re:And They'll fail (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | about 3 years ago | (#35717530)

Actually I live in the EU and we have Gamestop over here as well, where I live it is the only real store where you can buy used console games to a decent price, we have other stores as well, but they tend to sell the used games only 1-2 Euros cheaper than the new version.
Speaking of a ripoff, while Gamestop is considered a ripoff by many it is the least ripoff of all games stores we have here.

Re:And They'll fail (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#35719404)

Steam evolved as a response to everything that was wrong with gamestop.

Really? Steam can help me buy games for the Sega Saturn or Neo Geo Pocket Color?

This really pisses me off. (1)

Sarusa (104047) | about 3 years ago | (#35717032)

I love Fences Pro. I bought it legit even though it requires Impulse to install and update, which is complete overkill.

I was always willing to risk Impulse going under. I didn't even conceive of fricking GAMESTOP buying it. That's not gonna stay on my computer, so now it looks like I need to pirate an app I legitimately bought. Thanks Digital Restriction Management.

Re:This really pisses me off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717072)

I love Fences Pro. I bought it legit even though it requires Impulse to install and update, which is complete overkill.

I was always willing to risk Impulse going under. I didn't even conceive of fricking GAMESTOP buying it. That's not gonna stay on my computer, so now it looks like I need to pirate an app I legitimately bought. Thanks Digital Restriction Management.

This makes no sense to me. Why do you need to pirate Fences Pro, when you already have it installed on your computer? Why does it matter whether or not gamestop has control of Impulse? Do you feel like game stop is going to mess up your computer? If so, why? I'm not a huge Gamestop fan, but I don't follow your logic at all.

Re:This really pisses me off. (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 3 years ago | (#35719838)

Eventually he'll have to reinstall, either because he bought a new computer or just because he's running windows. If he uses Impulse to do it, it'll add in all the crap I'm sure Gamestop will eventually add.

Re:This really pisses me off. (1)

Yaur (1069446) | about 3 years ago | (#35717150)

Impulse is almost entirely drm free.. so your softwae probably still works. I know mine did after uninstalling impulse and if gamestop trys to retroactivly change the terms of sale at some point down the line to force DRM on products I already purchased I don't think its really piracy to continue using it under the same terms even if cracking is required to do so.

Re:This really pisses me off. (1)

Sarusa (104047) | about 3 years ago | (#35717434)

You're right, Impulse always had the dire warning about 'this will delete everything under Stardock' so I left it alone, but I just backed it all up and uninstalled and Fences Pro is still breezing along. Thanks.

Re:This really pisses me off. (5, Informative)

LatenightWithJB (2033940) | about 3 years ago | (#35717154)

Hi Sarusa. This is Jeff, Fences' developer :) We will be making standalone-installers available for all future versions of Fences Pro (and our other desktop apps), so don't worry about the dependency on Impulse. That said, Impulse is under great direction at GameStop so I wouldn't let that damage your opinion of it; they're operating with the same mission of quality that we always were. Thanks again for your purchase and I hope you enjoy Fences!

Re:This really pisses me off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717292)

And Bungie weren't going to be going XBox exclusive either. Give it a year or two, these things always creep in over time.

Hi Sarusa. This is Jeff, Fences' developer :) We will be making standalone-installers available for all future versions of Fences Pro (and our other desktop apps), so don't worry about the dependency on Impulse. That said, Impulse is under great direction at GameStop so I wouldn't let that damage your opinion of it; they're operating with the same mission of quality that we always were. Thanks again for your purchase and I hope you enjoy Fences!

Re:This really pisses me off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717408)

Fences is developed by Stardock and distributed via Impulse. Not sure if your analogy is apt.

Re:This really pisses me off. (1)

Sarusa (104047) | about 3 years ago | (#35717426)

Well thank you for this, then. I'd have downgraded to Fences Free if I'd had to, but the transparency settings and auto-assign are pretty useful.

I'd also mod this up if I could, it's useful.

Re:This really pisses me off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35720280)

fuck you stardock shitbag

Re:This really pisses me off. (1)

dstyle5 (702493) | about 3 years ago | (#35720740)

Being a non-Impulse user I have never heard of Fences. To me it brings to mind a rancher simulation game where the main gameplay element is building and repairing fences in order to keep your livestock fenced in, in turn maximizing your profits. Am I close? ;)

Re:This really pisses me off. (1)

jaronc (68205) | about 3 years ago | (#35717156)

I also bought Fences Pro. Despite the website saying you require impulse, the confirmation email they sent contained a direct download link for the program as well as a link for Impulse. The config screen for Fences allows you to both manually check for updates as well as set it to automatically check. I have not had to install Impulse to download, use or update this program. I think in this case they must have realised forcing the use of Impulse for a simple util was overkill.

Re:This really pisses me off. (1)

Sarusa (104047) | about 3 years ago | (#35717444)

(Dup of what I said to Yaur, but you deserve a thank you as well.) You're right, Impulse always had the dire warning about 'this will delete everything under Stardock' so I left it alone, but I just backed it all up and uninstalled and Fences Pro is still breezing along. Thanks.

Re:This really pisses me off. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#35718648)

I was always willing to risk Impulse going under. I didn't even conceive of fricking GAMESTOP buying it.

It was always guaranteed to be bought out by SOMEONE, even if they didn't continue it, just to get the mailing list. At minimum when it was carved up for bankruptcy the interesting part (which includes the mailing list) would be sold off.

I hope Stardock made lots of money off Gamestop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717100)

Many acquisitions tend to be overpaid, and Stardock makes good games. Hopefully, Gamestop spent lots of money in despiration, and will proceed to ruin Impulse. Stardock can plow the money into more game development. Other PC game storefronts will take the place of Impulse, and Gamestop will lose money. A win win deal.

Re:I hope Stardock made lots of money off Gamestop (1)

garatheus (993376) | about 3 years ago | (#35717490)

Lets just hope we get to keep our purchases on Impulse... I've bought a ton of games from there, but haven't been able to download and archive them all - since bandwidth isn't on the cheap here in South Africa. And sometimes when you do create an Impulse archive from an install it doesn't do it's job properly. It's actually better to just compress the directory yourself and simply "Detect Application" from the Impulse client. I worry about buying stuff and then losing it forever. Long live physical mediums!

Re:I hope Stardock made lots of money off Gamestop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717744)

The first thing I always do after buying and downloading a game, is to make a backup that works without an internet connection. Doesn't matter where I buy it.

So far it has been easy on Impulse. Usually you just have to open the .impulse file (the downloaded one, not the archived one) with 7zip and extract the folder containing the game wherever you want. Alternatively you can compress the installed game yourself, like you said (might have to dump registry entries too). I haven't yet encountered a game where either of these didn't work.

Other stores that keep the publisher's DRM require me to download cracks to remove their online-activation. Thanks to all the release groups writing the cracks that's usually easy. Of course for me that means: No way to backup offline or no crack? No sale!

By the way, physical mediums are no guarantuee since more and more publishers require online activations/accounts to hinder used sales.

My take on Impulse (1)

Mascot (120795) | about 3 years ago | (#35717524)

"OMG! A game I'd actually like to buy. That doesn't happen very often. It's cheaper on Steam, but I'll pick it up here anyway to support the little guy."
-Not available in your region.
"Right, Steam it is then."

Unless that changes (both of the points), Impulse is going to remain largely irrelevant. It seems they realized this themselves, when they started allowing third party DRM to bring some major titles onboard (though, as mentioned, with region restrictions Steam did not have). It seems rather likely Stardock themselves finally decided it wasn't worth the struggle trying to make a dent in Steam, thus selling it off. Time will tell what Gamestop makes of it, if anything.

Fences is ace though. It's the one title I'd be crying for (Objectdock is nice too, but there are free alternatives to that). Good thing you don't need Impulse for it.

Re:My take on Impulse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717602)

The whole region malarky isn't any better on Steam. It's one of the reasons they're off my map. Steam is often more expensive since they convert $ to € as 1 to 1. On top of that, living in Germany, I only get horribly localised, censored versions. I'm certainly not going to pay for gimped versions.

Other stores may have region restrictions, but at least I know that the games I buy will be the original uncensored versions.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35717618)

Kind of an impulse buy, dontchathink?

I'll be here all night.

There is a problem with it.. (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | about 3 years ago | (#35717768)

I don't want 10 different applications stores in order to stream my games. I want one place to go and download from, I don't want to think did I buy that 5yo game from steam or gamestop or ... Though I get around Steam's stupid prices by looking for the games that are "Steam based" but in retail.

Good for them. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 3 years ago | (#35719526)

I'm not a huge fan of Gamestop, but at least they as a company seem to be at least trying to recognize a coming trend and hopping on board rather than whining and complaining to legislators.

It just remains to be seen whether or not it's too little too late. I'll admit that for myself, I'm already pretty heavily invested in Steam and won't likely be using a different service unless it offers a specific advantage (namely, price - get some weekend sales on games that Steam ain't discounting and I'd look at it). Might be a case like Blockbuster, where they embraced the Netflix and Redbox models long after those companies had nearly run them into the ground.

I am troubled by this as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35719884)

I do not want anything to do with GameStop. I can only count the number of times that place screwed me before I said no more. I suppose I need to transfer my impulse bought games to a DVD rom and store it at home somewhere... I find this most inconvenient!

Great. I look forward to the future. (2)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 3 years ago | (#35720678)

I look forward to the future when I have 36 different online storefront applications on my PC. Each one sending me emails, billing information, sales updates, and advertising in my face. When I turn on my computer there will be 36 different splash screens and I'll be greeted by 36 friends lists and 36 different updates will download and then I will see 36 different changelogs asking me to agree to the 36 new EULAs and I will have to click 36 different checkboxes and press 36 different OK buttons. I will enjoy looking for the best prices across 36 different apps and backing up my games and savegames in 36 different ways. In the far (but bright) future, I might even have to pay 36 different monthly fees. I will also have 36 different usernames/passwords to remember, and 36 different sets of rules for account/computer activation/deactivation, as well as how many times I can download and install my games. I will also get to pay for this in 36 different ways (Credit/PayPal/Cyclos/Ploids). Brilliant, I can't wait.

Re:Great. I look forward to the future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35722768)

Yes, it will be difficult for a little while.
But THEN will come the App Store Store to simplify things! All of the complication that comes with managing all those different content delivery platforms is too much! But with the App Store Store, you can easily install and update entire collections of software at once! You'll wonder how you ever managed your content before. And in App Store Store 2.0, we're even experimenting with embedding computer games right in the App Store Store, so you can play them while your content management delivery platforms are updating!

Re:Great. I look forward to the future. (1)

brkello (642429) | about 3 years ago | (#35726240)

Welcome to the Internet. You have managed to get an e-mail and a Slashdot account. I think you can get through this as well.

Now I don't have to feel bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35721680)

I always felt guilty buying my games from Steam instead of Impulse because I really like Stardock, but at the end of the day the reason I buy from Steam is so I don't need to have physical media around and I can have my library of games on demand for the foreseeable future. So, buying from Steam was always based on my belief in their viability in the future. I realized this was a double edged sword because it was also essentially voting with my pocket book against the folks I'd prefer to win.

Now, that has all changed, because even though I really like Stardock, I also like Valve, and I certainly strongly prefer them to Gamestop. No more guilt picking Steam.

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