Thursday, August 07, 2008

Stardock’s Impulse, a digital distribution powerhouse

Stardock’s digital distribution platform, Impulse, may be the new kid on the block, but in true Stardock fashion, it’s quickly building momentum. With the landscape of PC software development changing and the ever increasing power of digital distribution over traditional retail sales, Impulse looks like it may be laying the foundation for the new PC landscape. On Monday, Stardock announced that even more games and applications have been added to Impulse, upping the chocolate chip count on an already great cookie.

Find out what’s new with Stardock’s Impulse after the jump!

For those of you who don’t already know (shame on you!) what Impulse is, here’s the skinny. Stardock launched Impulse with the cooperation of companies like THQ, Epic Games, AVG, Gas Powered Games, Ironclad Games, Hothead Games, Meridian4 and many others. Impulse offers over 150 games and software applications for digital download. It’s not just a store however, Stardock has gone all out (it launched in June for pete’s sake!) to make their new distribution platform a powerhouse.

You don’t need to be online to play single player games, it supports all types of PC software, the Impulse dock allows users to organize all their programs, regardless of where they came from and it features a robust set of community features. Find and play with friends online, chat, blog, you name it. It’s also a virtual platform that developers can freely use to add new features to their products.

On Monday Stardock announced that a bunch of new games from Capcom and new applications from Genie-Soft were added to Impulse’s catalog. The new games available are the upcoming title Plunder, MotoGP 2008, Flock, Neopets and Dark Void. Considering how new the service still is, it’s quickly racking up some really great titles. Games like Sins of a Solar Empire, Galactic Civilizations II, Demigod (pre-order), UnReal Tournament 3 and the Political Machine are already available.

Impulse is not done evolving yet though. Stardock will be unveiling Impulse in three stages. The first stage was the launch of Impulse, this past June, allowing gamers to download titles from several PC game publishers as well as software developers. Stage two is set to go off some time this month and will include Impulse Reactor and the beta for MyImpulse, a setup that will allow developers to submit titles or software to Impulse. Stage three will launch some time in early 2009 and will substantially automate the ability for dev’s to publish their games and software, as well as provide virtual drive management tools.

One of the greatest things about being a PC gamer, or even a PC user in general, is that you have a lot of choices. Unlike the PS3 and the Xbox 360, which both have their own unique marketplaces and features, PC users can pick and choose from any number of places for their desired digital downloads.

I’m trying hard not to gush, but as a PC user who has been let down by vaguely similar setups like Games For Windows Live and limited in other ways be services like Steam, I can’t help but applaud Stardock. Stardock’s Galactic Civilizations games drew me in, my experiences with their game beta’s showed me how hard they work and their policy of no heavy handed DRM made me a die hard fan.

Watch out GfWL and Steam, Impulse is quickly becoming a serious player, and Stardock’s bringing the cookies!

via SarcasticGamer

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Author & Editor, Jason Kiwaluk

Ideation | Ecommerce | Fintech | Innovation | Strategy | Opinionated Agitator RevenueWire,FuturePay+PayMotion

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