GameStop acquires Impulse, Spawn Labs

Specialty retailer adds PC digital distribution and game streaming companies to corporate family, promises wide selection of on-demand games for "any Internet-enabled device."

GameStop doesn't care how you get your games; it just wants to be the company that gets them to you. The publisher bolstered that position today, as it announced the acquisition of two digital distribution companies: Stardock subsidiary Impulse, Inc. and Spawn Labs.

There's nothing impulsive about GameStop's digital distribution investment.

The Impulse acquisition, which isn't expected to close until May, should see the downloadable game storefront integrated with GameStop's existing site. The specialty retailer already offers downloadable games on its retail site, but it does note those orders are fulfilled by a third party. Impulse will continue to exist, but it will also be fully integrated on GameStop's retail site "within the next few months."

As for Spawn Labs, the streaming game specialist will be put to work with GameStop's research and development group, working on a new consumer interface that will offer "immediate access to a wide selection of high-definition video games on demand on any Internet-enabled device." Terms of the acquisitions were not revealed.

The moves are a continuation of GameStop's strategy to establish a digital presence through acquisition. In 2009, the retailer acquired majority ownership of free-to-play gaming site Jolt Online and followed that up last year with the purchase of Flash-based game portal Kongregate.

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