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Stardock: Impulse sale helped fuel company's most successful year

Privately-held developer Stardock Corporation said last year was its most successful since opening in 1993, thanks in part to its sale of digital distribution platform Impulse to GameStop.
Privately-held developer Stardock Corporation said last year was its most successful since opening in 1993, thanks in part to its sale of digital distribution platform Impulse to GameStop. While the company has not revealed revenue or profit details for 2011, or financial terms from the Impulse transaction, it disclosed that capital gained from the sale enable it to hire "world-class talent" and evaluate accelerating trends in consumer software. With those trends in mind, Stardock says it will unveil a wide range of new products, games, and technologies over the next 18 months. It has already announced a couple Windows games in development, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress and Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. Stardock sold its Impulse platform and business unit to retailer GameStop last May for a number of reasons: the service required resources it would rather have devoted to game development, and prevented the developer from releasing games to rival platforms like Steam. Looking ahead, Stardock noted in its annual Customer Report released today that the industry is in a transition period due to the rise of digital distribution platforms, and the exploding mobile space -- where an increasing number of PC developers are migrating to. It forecasts that "decoupled gaming," or gaming setups in which the display and input devices are separate from the machines rendering the game, will become common within five years, with Apple's AirPlay technology leading the space and challenging consoles. "The actual gaming experience won't change very much except that the player will have a lot more flexibility as to how they play their games," the report predicts. "However, the development experience will change radically depending on which platforms emerge as the leaders in this future."

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