Fighting for Second Place: An Interview With Brad Wardell

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The distinction is probably obvious to him, but anyone unfamiliar with Stardock's history is probably getting confused, since Impulse did come in quite a bit later than Steam.

Stardock Central was essentially the first digital distribution method that was started way back in 2001, and to go back further in history Component Manager launched in 1999. And you are right that TotalGaming.net was also in the mix which began sales. It's nothing to argue over, but it's cool to know the history. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardock_Central

Then with pre-orders there have been cases where they insist on charging you the full amount TWICE - once when you pre-order, and once when the game is released. They say this is to ensure the funds are available, but if that's the case, there is no need to charge more than 1 dollar for the first transaction.

Stardock isn't charging you twice, the first charge would be your bank putting the charge to verify funds or however they handle sales like this. This is completely up to the bank, and has nothing to do with billing.

If they seriously want "second" place in terms of market share, then need to wake up and realise that there is far more to digital distribution than just North America. Really, it's nigh on impossible for the rest of the world to take Impulse seriously.

Impulse doesn't control regional restrictions and such, that is in the developers/publishers hands. I can say with great certainty that we would love to sell to anybody, but unfortunately, it is not as cut and dry as it seems.

I love the theory of digital distribution. And Impulse is, in my experience, a better solution than Steam.

However ... as an international customer (I live in New Zealand) I find it somewhat frustrating. As bad as Steams regional pricing is (US$89.99 for MW2? Really?) I find Impulses worse - none of their specials apply outside of North America.

I imagine there is a vast, untapped market out there - and the first digital distribution network to harness that will do very well. Especially since it's getting increasingly difficult to find retail stores in New Zealand and Australia that sell PC games.

Also: After getting BBC2, ME2 and DA:O I've noticed that EA is quickly ramping up their online games presence. Another year and I predict they will be making inroads into STEAM and Impulses territory.

id rather not have more than one of these insidious DD programs on my computer. But the competition has been saving me money so Stardock bless you for being there. and thanks for your ideas about sales \o/

I've bought one game from impulse and its that DoTA game. and to be honest impulse's interface i don't like ._.

Snotnarok:
Competition is fine, but my problem lies within having games across 10 different accounts, I have ENOUGH passwords and usernames to remember. I like steam because it's easy, it's cheaper, has no subscription fee and does things better than other garbage digital services.

1) I'd recommend password safe for storing all your passwords in a single place, with just one master password to remember.

2) Impulse and GOG don't have subscription fees either.

3) If Steam was really just a digital *distribution* channel, you wouldn't need your password all the time you'd want to play a game. I load up the Impulse client *only* when I'm buying something there. I can check out their sales, new titles etc. with my browser, and the games play without *any* other software coming in my way.

To me people that complain about *too many account to keep track of* have been brainwashed to think that digital distribution always and without exception means the form of Steam's DRM where you need to be logged into a service to start/play your games. But Impluse and GOG show that this is simply not a correct.

I think he makes some good points there, and I would buy just as many games from Impulse as I do from Steam if it wasn't for one thing: Impulse won't let me buy the games I want. I'm just presented with a "Not available in your region"-message. I think Impulse would have a lot more of the international market if they didn't have such restrictions, because they regularly out-price Steam. I do realise that such things are up to the publisher, but surely Stardock must be able to make them ease up on such restrictions...

Ingix:

Snotnarok:
Competition is fine, but my problem lies within having games across 10 different accounts, I have ENOUGH passwords and usernames to remember. I like steam because it's easy, it's cheaper, has no subscription fee and does things better than other garbage digital services.

1) I'd recommend password safe for storing all your passwords in a single place, with just one master password to remember.

2) Impulse and GOG don't have subscription fees either.

3) If Steam was really just a digital *distribution* channel, you wouldn't need your password all the time you'd want to play a game. I load up the Impulse client *only* when I'm buying something there. I can check out their sales, new titles etc. with my browser, and the games play without *any* other software coming in my way.

To me people that complain about *too many account to keep track of* have been brainwashed to think that digital distribution always and without exception means the form of Steam's DRM where you need to be logged into a service to start/play your games. But Impluse and GOG show that this is simply not a correct.

Yes except you don't know me and when I say I have too many accounts to keep track that's not the evil alien that Valve has placed on my head to make me feel happy with steam, that's because I have a lot of passwords for my job (more than all my game subscriptions combined and tripled), passwords for my game accounts on PC, PS3, 360. So I really do have too many accounts all tied into a book that I keep in a safe already. You say it's free but then there's always the fine print, downloading games after an extended period of time can cost money with other platforms.

I don't care about the other groups because I found a product I liked, I'm not about to buy something on another platform because they say there's a monopoly going on. Do Cokeacola fans buy pepsi to help pepsi and the gaming economy? No, my friends are on steam anyway or have their games going through steam so we can join easily, I'm not about to complicate things because I want to help out everybody. Steam is a store, it's doing well because it's a good store. It's no different than a guy opening shop in town with a gamestop already there, you go check out the guys shop and he charges too much, so you go to gamestop because their prices are sane.

Let me also note that something we are working at going forward with Impulse::Reactor is the ability to allow gamers to login to chat overlays and such with their Facebook, Windows Live, etc. ID's.

This is obviously different from the actual Impulse Store, but I just wanted to point it out that making logins easier is something we are working on for games.

Impulse won't let me buy the games I want. I'm just presented with a "Not available in your region"-message. I think Impulse would have a lot more of the international market if they didn't have such restrictions, because they regularly out-price Steam. I do realise that such things are up to the publisher, but surely Stardock must be able to make them ease up on such restrictions...

It's not that easy to make them ease up unfortunately. You have to remember publishers typically have overseas operations and contracts have to be negotiated separately. Believe me, we would sell to the entire planet if we could. :)

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