Digital content distribution is pretty clearly the future. I think we can all agree on that. Stardock doesn’t mention it once in their press release, but Valve’s Steam platform has been instrumental in advancing the industry. Well, Stardock has done pretty well for themselves, especially recently with their Sins of a Solar Empire series, and it looks like they want to get in on the game. They’re launching a service called Impulse via the cheekily-named “Impulse Driven” site, not at all a riff on Steam Powered. More info inside.
Impulse is aiming to fill the gaps in a system like Steam while retaining the best parts. For instance, you won’t need to be online to play games it’s installed, which was an issue for Steam gamers. And they’re not limiting themselves to game distribution; applications are there too, so if you outfit your computer through Impulse, you can format, re-install Windows, and have all the same apps and games downloaded automatically, since they’re associated with your account.
It actually kind of reminds me of the Synaptic package manager in Linux (that’s a good thing). They’re working with lots of game developers to get the library kick-started, and while they’ve got some ground to make up, it’s good news for them that Impulse will be the method of choice for getting Stardock’s own popular games.
Good to see some competition in the area from a worthy company. I may actually go and buy Sins later to see how it goes.