GameStop is betting that this digital distribution thing has legs and I think they might be right. I still don’t believe like some do that one day everything will be digital and we won’t have physical copies of games. With the lack of decent broadband throughout the country and issues with DRM and ownership of content I think for a long time to come people will like to own media but I digress. GameStop has announced that it intends to purchase two companies, Spawn Labs, a streaming technology company and Impulse, Inc., a subsidiary of Stardock Systems, Inc., and a leader in digital distribution. The Impulse acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in May 2011.
Spawn Labs, part of the GameStop network, brings patented technology and a talented team of technologists with unique game streaming and virtualization expertise. The Spawn Labs team will work closely with GameStop’s existing R&D group to develop GameStop’s growing suite of digital game products and services. Once the Spawn Labs integration and testing on a new consumer interface is complete, users will have immediate access to a wide selection of high-definition video games on demand on any Internet-enabled device. Impulse, Inc. provides a proven digital distribution platform that allows users to quickly and easily find their favorite games and download them to their Internet-connected devices.
The folks at GameStop are no fools and they understand that while they have very profitable business model, they have a critical supply chain flaw. If game companies figure out how to lock games down to the point where it makes no point to trade them like what happened with DC Universe online then they have a serious problem. Now I don’t think that will ever be the case because the backlash from the consumers would be all hell and brimstone but I like that GameStop is trying to diversify their content and offerings.