Gamestop, Impulse and Stardock

By on March 31, 2011 8:58:17 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums External Link

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Here's a good article that goes into some detail on the Gamestop / Impulse / Stardock team up.

http://www.joystiq.com/2011/03/31/stardocks-brad-wardell-talks-about-selling-impulse-to-gamestop/

 

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April 6, 2011 2:19:45 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
I'm sorry but that's nonsense.  The contracts with Impulse with regards to Star Ruler don't change simply because Impulse, Inc. has a different stockholder.  If he wants to remove his game, we can certainly grant him that.  But I know that Gamestop is very interested in promoting indies.

Really it seems to be two things that brought about the decision: it is possible for things regarding its sale through Impulse to be changed in ways they do not like, and they do not trust that the changes will not be made under Gamestop.

It is about pre-impting a possible problem that from where they are standing looks like there is a sufficent chance of it happening to worry about. They do not have the luxury of talking to the people that will be running the show starting in May, and the contract does not have the protection they would want had they known before hand this would happen.

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April 6, 2011 2:23:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wait and see, wait and see.  Yes, I think we would have all preferred that Stardock kept control of Impulse, because most of us trust Brad and Stardock.  Well, as much as geeks trust corporate pigs in monkey suits .  But, we should also respect why Brad sold it. He wants to concentrate on making the games he likes.  Not sell them.  So, I am going to thank Brad for developing Impulse and showing the business world that you can create a DD system that is trustworthy and then hope that Gamestop won't make changes that has made Impulse the alternative to other DD services. 

There is no reason to proclaim the world has ended just yet, I don't think that companies really need to back away from impulse or customers need to yet.  But, it is their right if they choose to.  I would just say, lets wait and see what Gamestop actually does.  And if they do Evil, then we shall Nerd-rage against them until our typing fingers bleed!

 

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April 6, 2011 2:26:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Polynomial,

Quoting Frogboy, reply 221I'm sorry but that's nonsense.  The contracts with Impulse with regards to Star Ruler don't change simply because Impulse, Inc. has a different stockholder.  If he wants to remove his game, we can certainly grant him that.  But I know that Gamestop is very interested in promoting indies.

Name one time in modern, relevant history Gamestop has been interested in something not created by a major publisher. Just one.

I'm not trying to troll Frogboy. I just have 0 interest in Impulse anyone, and frankly 0 interest in Stardock since Elemental isn't my kind of game. The company is just no longer relevant to me, which is sad. I think that describes a lot of people here.

Digital distribution doesn't involve shelf space.

Getting sold at retail has more to do with getting proper retail distribution (Ingram Micro, Navarre, Jack of All Games, etc.).  Indies rarely are able to get into that kind of distribution. That's why Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, etc. don't carry indies.

By contrast, I know for a fact that Gamestop sees indie PC gaming as a major force in digital distribution.

One of the things most people don't realize is that in *digital* distribution, independent games are, by far, the bigger profit center.  At retail, the overhead on game X vs. game Y is about the same (huge).  But at digital, the indies have a lot of big advantages because they are more likely to generate their revenue over a long period of time while requiring relatively little support from the DD.

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April 6, 2011 2:29:05 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have approximately $700 invested in Impulse products and am not pleased with this sale at all.  My biggest issue right now is how to get money to Stardock for their products in the future without involving Gamestop.

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April 6, 2011 2:35:11 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
But, we should also respect why Brad sold it. 

FYI, I believe most people's issue is not that Impulse was sold. Rather, it's who it was sold to.

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April 6, 2011 2:35:36 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Digital distribution doesn't involve shelf space.

Getting sold at retail has more to do with getting proper retail distribution (Ingram Micro, Navarre, Jack of All Games, etc.).  Indies rarely are able to get into that kind of distribution. That's why Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, etc. don't carry indies.

By contrast, I know for a fact that Gamestop sees indie PC gaming as a major force in digital distribution.

One of the things most people don't realize is that in *digital* distribution, independent games are, by far, the bigger profit center.  At retail, the overhead on game X vs. game Y is about the same (huge).  But at digital, the indies have a lot of big advantages because they are more likely to generate their revenue over a long period of time while requiring relatively little support from the DD.

Though given that Steam is not as good about letting Indie games be added to their library it would seem they disagree about them being the most profitable.

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April 6, 2011 2:36:43 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
FYI, I believe most people's issue is not that Impulse was sold. Rather, it's who it was sold to.

Though that might be different if there was not so much pre-existing hate for the buyer.

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April 6, 2011 2:38:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting travitar,
I have approximately $700 invested in Impulse products and am not pleased with this sale at all.  My biggest issue right now is how to get money to Stardock for their products in the future without involving Gamestop.

We appreciate your support.  I guess one of the challenges here is that many people just see "Gamestop" as in a single monolothic corporation.  By contrast, I see Steve Nix, David Adams, etc. the guys who will be running Impulse which is effectively an independent unit within Gamestop.  They're going to be doing some good things for our industry and for consumers.  

I would just ask that people give them the benefit of the doubt.

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April 6, 2011 2:42:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Gwenio1,

Quoting Frogboy, reply 228Digital distribution doesn't involve shelf space.

Getting sold at retail has more to do with getting proper retail distribution (Ingram Micro, Navarre, Jack of All Games, etc.).  Indies rarely are able to get into that kind of distribution. That's why Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, etc. don't carry indies.

By contrast, I know for a fact that Gamestop sees indie PC gaming as a major force in digital distribution.

One of the things most people don't realize is that in *digital* distribution, independent games are, by far, the bigger profit center.  At retail, the overhead on game X vs. game Y is about the same (huge).  But at digital, the indies have a lot of big advantages because they are more likely to generate their revenue over a long period of time while requiring relatively little support from the DD.

Though given that Steam is not as good about letting Indie games be added to their library it would seem they disagree about them being the most profitable.

That has a lot more to do with the technical infrastructure behind Steam and Impulse. 

But going forward, if you're an independent game developer, Impulse is going to be the friendliest place for you imo. It's a major emphasis for them.

Let's just bear in mind that they had to convince each Impulse employee individually to leave Stardock proper and relocate to Dallas. Stardock guys aren't money-oriented. They're in this because they're passionate about it. And they, like me, very much like what Gamestop has in mind here.

 

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April 6, 2011 2:49:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting louist,
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109019-GamersGate-CEO-Thinks-Buying-Impulse-Could-Be-the-Wrong-Move-for-GameStop

Two cents from GG.

Yea, I saw that.  Very odd series of things to say.  

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April 6, 2011 2:58:19 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting travitar, reply 229I have approximately $700 invested in Impulse products and am not pleased with this sale at all.  My biggest issue right now is how to get money to Stardock for their products in the future without involving Gamestop.

We appreciate your support.  I guess one of the challenges here is that many people just see "Gamestop" as in a single monolothic corporation.  By contrast, I see Steve Nix, David Adams, etc. the guys who will be running Impulse which is effectively an independent unit within Gamestop.  They're going to be doing some good things for our industry and for consumers.  

I would just ask that people give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

Brad,

I have my doubts about how this will end up, but you've got so much cred built up with me for your past dealings and treatment to me as a customer that I'll agree to ride it out and see how it goes.  But PLEASE consider some alternative for purchasing your products and updating them if the contract allows.

 

Thanks

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April 6, 2011 3:01:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting louist, reply 235http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109019-GamersGate-CEO-Thinks-Buying-Impulse-Could-Be-the-Wrong-Move-for-GameStop

Two cents from GG.
Yea, I saw that.  Very odd series of things to say.  

It was certainly designed to provoke people. That said, the trend for developers, writers, producers (and now distributors) to bad-mouth each other has been on the rise these last few years.

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April 6, 2011 3:17:03 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

"Less talented stepchild". 

Really.

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April 6, 2011 3:28:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brad may not want to publicly say if he has an alternative idea or not- I don't think Gamestop would be too happy if they felt he was trying to hold them over a barrel on Impulse.  I wish Brad was at liberty (I'm guessing he isn't, but he won't be able to confirm or deny this I'm sure) to divulge more details over what protections Stardock has or what Gamestop's long-term ideas are.  

 

That said, do you guys REALLY think Brad would stand for Impulse having Steam-style DRM or worse?  I think if that happened, Brad would stick his games on his own servers again.   Selling a game isn't that different from selling Object Desktop- Brad's still in the retail business, just not in the 3rd-party retail business.  It seems the paranoid folks on other forums are convinced that the first thing Gamestop will do is put Steam-like DRM in Impulse.

 

Surprised to hear that from the Paradox and Gamersgate folks, I think they are making a play for the disgruntled Impulse customers.

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April 6, 2011 3:32:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the main point here is this: do we all think Brad would screw over the team of people that helped build Impulse? I don't think so. It appears to me Brad is extremely loyal to his peeps and they are to him. I highly doubt Brad would have sold Impulse to a bunch of scavenging vultures - those people are his friends and have families. Just don't see it.

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April 6, 2011 3:36:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That said, the popular image of Gamestop is that of a giant scavenging vulture.

 

So... yeah. There's that.

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April 6, 2011 3:36:34 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I think the root of everyone's concerns is their fear that GameStop will find a way to spread their taint to Impulse, because people have first hand experience with GameStop and can't see any way for GameStop to not keeping their greedy mitts out of Impulse. I am concerned about this change, but I can't condemn a change in ownership just because of the reputation of the new owner.

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April 6, 2011 3:42:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I use GamerGate, but I don't get why he thinks it's so superior to Steam or Impulse. That CEO, whatshisname, came across quite dickish.

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April 6, 2011 3:58:48 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Yeah, not wading through this just adding a comment for what it's worth.

 

Stardock made and supported great games.

 

Impulse was Google to Valve's Microsoft. Or something.

 

Now we have neither to rely upon.

 

Never say never but it'll be a while before I buy from Impulse again. Not until I see how Gamestop are treating people.

 

AND Stardock support never got back to me about my last issue a couple of weeks ago. Not a word beyond the receipt of confirmation. Is that a sign of things to come?

 

Anyway. Outta here. Will check back in a couple of months to see how it's going. Maybe check my JoeUser blog. I bet that place has blossomed in the several years since I last had a look. I'm sure it isn't a tinfoil hat wearing ghetto.

 

Best of luck everyone!

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April 6, 2011 4:27:05 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting myfist0,
What happens when Gamestop will sell Impulse to Steam 

fixed

 

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April 6, 2011 4:51:45 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Just a random thought, but what happens to the 'Weekend Impulse Buys' under Gamestop's management watch? 

 

Sure, I had bad timing in purchasing Demigod and WH40K:DoW when they then went on sale the next week... But, I did snag a few other titles when they were on sale that I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise. 

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April 6, 2011 5:03:18 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting AlLanMandragoran,
I think the main point here is this: do we all think Brad would screw over the team of people that helped build Impulse? I don't think so. It appears to me Brad is extremely loyal to his peeps and they are to him. I highly doubt Brad would have sold Impulse to a bunch of scavenging vultures - those people are his friends and have families. Just don't see it.

Define "screw over"?  Looks like they'll all continue to have gainful employment as well as a chance to participate in the GameStop Collective.  As well as potentially cashing in on the acquisition itself.

I think that Brad has done pretty well by the Impulse crew, but that's really a completely separate issue from what happens to the Impulse customers.

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April 6, 2011 5:06:49 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting 1Tiberius1,
Sure, I had bad timing in purchasing Demigod and WH40K:DoW when they then went on sale the next week... But, I did snag a few other titles when they were on sale that I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise.

You think you have bad timing? I've often though I should start a thread, as a public service, to let everyone know what games I purchase so they can watch for the up coming sale in a week or two.

I get good deals too though.

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April 6, 2011 5:12:49 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Frogboy,

I don't trust GameStop at all - but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt for now by not cancelling all my preorders. However, beyond my preorders, there's no way I'll drop another dime on Impulse until I see how this all shakes out.

I want to trust your optimism, but StarDock cares about their customers where GameStop cares only about their bottom line. Even if Impulse is managed as an independent division, there's no guarantee that Gamestop won't shut them down or force consumer-hostile new policies on us in the name of bigger profit.

I really, really hope you're right about them... but I'm not going to bet on it.

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