first_imgOf the big three forms of entertainment we all use, music went digital first, and now video and games are slowly making the move too. Gamers know it, game publishers know it, and retailers are beginning to realize it.GameStop has decided to react and try and secure its future in the digital space by acquiring the Impulse digital games download service from Stardock as well as streaming tech company Spawn Labs.Although it’s nowhere near as popular as Valve’s Steam service, Impulse does already hold a 10% share of the digital games market. Just as importantly for GameStop, it is already live and making money so the retailer has a platform it can build on with little development investment required.Spawn Labs offers a different view on digital games. The company’s focus is on streaming and virtualization technology. GameStop states that Spawn is working on a solution for playing games on any Internet-enabled device, suggesting OnLive may be getting a new rival in the future branded with the GameStop name.The two acquisitions combined should allow GameStop to offer games across the board through its shops, through the mail from its online store, and now via digital distribution, and eventually game streaming too.Read more at the GameStop press release, via Gamesindustry.bizMatthew’s OpinionThese are both intelligent buys for GameStop for the future. Impulse is an already established service that GameStop can throw some money at and help it grow beyond that 10% market share. It needs to be a brand as recognized as Steam if it intends to compete.As for Spawn Labs, that’s certainly a forward-looking acquisition, and one that’s probably been spurned by the good press OnLive has been getting. GameStop knows that relying on boxed-copy game sales isn’t going to bring in the same level of profits indefinitely, and whose to say future consoles will even have a disc slot in them? So creating a digital platform now makes a lot of sense.Whether both acquisitions pan out for the company depends on how GameStop handles the companies. Impulse needs a more hands-on approach and the experience GameStop brings from selling games for years. Spawn Labs looks like it should be left alone to get on with the tech for the time being.last_img

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