Whether or not the transaction actually completed is irrelevant, the deal is already worked out and announced, the "when it happens" doesn't change anything.
Completely untrue. If Stardock decreases the value of Impulse before the transaction is completed by coming out and saying "Gamestop sucks, use Steam instead" it can lead to several outcomes including:
altering the transaction as the asset is now worth less
c) cancelling the transaction
At the very best, it damages Stardock's reputation in the industry as someone you want to do business with, and that's a really bad thing for a company that does a lot of business with OEMs and such.
And, yes, I would expect a company to be honest with its fanbase and actually say it straight up. I mean, it's not like they've had trouble in the past sharing sensitive information with their public yearly reports they put out. At worst, just don't say anything - still better than lying to our faces and trying to convince us that this is somehow a great boon.
They're dealing with a publically traded company here. How do we know the terms aren't private because Gamestop wants them to be? The yearly reports also tend to either be broad, or tell us stuff that people who were paying attention already knew. There's not something in there saying that "Impulse made $4 million of Bioware games but lost $1 million on Bethesda games, and thats why Bethesda got cranky and added Steamworks." There's a lot of actual sensitive information they don't disclose because it would either affect someone else who wants it private or because it would damage the business.
In the end, GameStop bought it for purely selfish reasons. They bought it because it will benefit them. Any benefit gamers may see down the line is incidental. Do you really think GameStop will refuse to sell Steamworks games on Impulse?
Of course they did. It's a company. You think Stardock created it to be Brad's gift to the Internet? Making money was always a big part of the equation.
As for Steamworks, that depends. GS might decide there's more money to be made in selling them. They might also decide to actually finish Reactor and then tell the publishers that they want a seperate version that uses that instead of Steamworks, and that's the only version they'll put in stores. That's something Stardock could never do.
With Stardock, "clout" was never a bigger issue than actually *trying* to do something about it. Talking about it does not count as "doing". In the past 2 years, Impulse has not evolved at all. Ready2Play was going to match Steam's social side - canned. Reactor was supposed to allow you to re-sell games properly - canned. Reactor itself, in development for how long, and we haven't seen any of it pretty much.. All of these things actually need to be ready to use and used by SD, so they can then show to the publishers "Hey, look, we told you this stuff would work". This is how you get them to jump on board.
Well we can hope that Gamestop is more serious about that, but they also have a retail operation backing it up. Buying any retail game GS sells also gives you the Impulse version? That would be pretty sweet.