The world of digital distribution business is a wild one indeed. You know… “Dog Eat Dog”, and all that good stuff. And all that dog food s**t is starting to affect the brick-and-mortar game industry as well. Which is why in March of 2011, GameStop acquired Impulse, a digital distribution platform previously operated by Stardock. And now, Impulse is doing pretty well for itself, and in certain departments, it performs far better than Steam. But I can assure you I’m totally not talking about pricing. Steam is doing really well with pricing - I mean, who could ever say that Steam pricing sucks; and that Impulse has pricing which is… well, better? It’s ludicrous!
But I digress: there’s loads of digital distribution platforms. Some have come and gone, some are still alive after years in the business, and others have just been born. Which is why it’s so surprising that Impulse has just entered an interesting business arrangement with Valve. For the first time ever, Valve games can be purchased on a digital distribution service that’s not Steam. Read on!
On the 24th, GameStop and Impulse announced that a significant portion of Valve’s game catalog would be made available on Impulse. The Valve titles in question are: Portal 2, L4D1, L4D2, Half-Life Complete (every HL game plus Team Fortress Classic), and The Orange Box. Interestingly, all of Valve’s titles on Impulse do require Steam to install and play, so it seems like you will be given Steam keys if you purchase a Valve game from Impulse. You’ll also need the Impulse client, however.
The prices for these Valve games aren’t too bad, but obviously, don’t expect to see any extensive sales on Impulse. Still, it’s pretty great to see Valve starting to move out of their little space and check out the outside world, so to speak. Maybe this will mean a whole new audience for Valve’s terrific games. Let’s hope so – it’s never too late to join the Valve community, I suppose. Also, it’s never too late to read LambdaGeneration. I guarantee it. Well… it might be too late on the 1st of April, when we’ll be doing a big rethinking of the whole site. Make it more marketable, more relevant. I know we did that llama thing last year, but that totally did not work out. Trust me – this year it’ll go great.