Retailer GameStop just made a major move into the game downloading space. The company announced that it has purchased streaming service Spawn Labs as well as Impulse, the game distribution system set up by publisher Stardock. GameStop also recently purchased Kongregate, the web-game service.
Spawn Labs has developed software to play console games from different rooms in a house, or over the internet -- imagine a Slingbox-like device that allows you to play console games from any net-connected computer or TV in the world. Impulse is a smaller distribution network for downloadable games, like Steam, but with less content and fewer users.
- NEWS: GameStop buys Kongregate
Those are the facts. Imagine how these disparate elements could be combined. It seems like GameStop is rolling out a game distribution service that combines their massive retail, brick-and-mortar presence with a robust downloading service that featured web games, as well as the ability to play your games from any internet connected device in the world. Suddenly, Steam seems like it has some serious competition, no?
For now, all that's speculation, but here's a quote from GameStop President Tony Bartel, "Our customers are gaming in many locations and on many devices, and we need to deliver the same great immersive experience that they have come to expect. Spawn Labs and Impulse provide a customer-friendly and publisher-friendly way for us to accomplish this."
J. Paul Raines, chief executive officer of GameStop, said, "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."
Impulse is running now, and we'll let you know when/if any new features are added.