Author Topic: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse  (Read 27896 times)

Thy Reaper

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Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« on: April 01, 2011, 10:24:56 PM »
On March 31st, Stardock Systems announced that Impulse will be purchased by GameStop, likely some time in May. Due to a rather large list of things we detest about GameStop, Star Ruler will no longer be available for purchase on Impulse after the takeover. Impulse users will hopefully be able to continue receiving automatic updates after the sale; in any case, the patches hosted on our site are compatible with the Impulse version.

We are ending sales through Impulse due to GameStop's long, negative behavior toward the PC platform and independent games. We would never have signed onto distribution through GameStop, and being forced into this situation has only made it worse for us. We feel GameStop cannot serve as the leader of a true competitor in the digital distribution market.

I want to stress that our interactions with Impulse have been consistently good. We would've had no issues with continuing to sell on their service, and we had every intention of being on their service for future games; so long as they were owned by Stardock. However, with the announcement of the merger, and due to the nature of our contract, we had to decide rather quickly what we would do. After a lot of discussion and debates, we arrived at these key points:

  • GameStop's business practices stand opposed to our goals.
  • We feel they would not respect our customers.
  • GameStop consistently focuses only on large budget titles and safe bets, shying away from the independent market.
  • We supported Brad Wardell's direction of Impulse, and his absence ruins our faith in the service's future.

Impulse Customers: You are not being abandoned! We will be trying to arrange the continuation of automatic updates through Impulse. If this doesn't work out, our patches are all compatible with the Impulse version, and we will be working on an automatic updater for all of our customers to make the update process simpler.

We thank you for your time and apologize for the suddenness of this news and the confusion surrounding it. Things have been very busy as patch 1070 had just come out when we heard about all this and we haven't been able to be as proactive as we would've liked to be on this matter. For that, we apologize, and hope that you understand both our reasoning and that we will honor your sale of Star Ruler with the support it deserves, no matter what our distribution agreements are, to the best of our ability.

colonyan

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 10:52:39 PM »
Ah the harsh competition.
As long as it is compatible and fully functional I have got nothing to say...
Ah but thanks for your dedication.

I never knew about Game Stop but if that is what their business practice is about,
I think that's perfectly normal but they are being extremely on mere sales company side than
being part of whole game industry and growth of its culture. I can not wrap it up better than
this but I think they will the last digital vendor to try if there will be any chance.
(Maybe they have their own business strategy and steps?)

By the way, will Impulse copy owners will be able to download the game a new other than
automated patching service?

EDIT: Um yeah and I wish you guys can work on making games long time. Good luck for all
of you guys. Wanna some tea?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 10:54:46 PM by colonyan »

Thy Reaper

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 10:55:50 PM »
Impulse owners will be able to redownload Star Ruler as often as Impulse will allow, unless something changes. Hopefully, GameStop will not limit downloads in the near future, or ever.

bbosnjak

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2011, 08:21:36 AM »
I fully support your position and decision.  Kudos on having the moral integrity.

Will the Great

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 05:28:22 PM »
I was kinda hoping that was an April Fools prank... :/

XTRMNTR2K

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 06:22:24 PM »
To be completely honest, as a long time Impulse user I was shocked when I heard about the takeover (just got the news today... yeah, I'm slow.). As much as I support your decision, I also understand that this wasn't an easy one; kudos to you for having the balls to do this.

However, this does show one of the issues with digital distribution. Although Impulse does allow for backups and games like star ruler can be patched manually, such services with stricter DRM, like Steam, are far more problematic. Not saying that Steam will be bought by someone else, of course; but this is a risk that comes with EVERY digital distribution service. And I don't give a damn about promises like "we're going to release an offline patch in case we're going bankrupt".

On the other hand of course, digital distribution is one of the best chances for indie developers; one of the reasons I liked Impulse so much was the availability of so many indie games (whereas Steam, relatively speaking, is more focused towards big-budget titles). Now that the GameStoppers will take over, I'm expecting that they'll forget about indie games in favor of the so-called "AAA titles" (just like you implied, Reaper).

Anyway, whatever the future brings, I will support you guys at Blind Mind Studios. The retail release of Star Ruler is as good as bought the second it hits the shelves. :)

T-Bone Biggins

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 07:32:54 PM »
I say just give the Impulse users a key for a version directly from Blind-Mind. Another game went to ghost on Impulse update wise, it's called IronGrip Warlord. The dev and Impulse had a disagreement on how to implement and distribute a patch, and the Impulse version of the game is years old. Luckily the people behind IG:Warlord have sent all Impulse users the option via email to send them the Impulse serial key and trade it in for a key for their version they sell on their website.

I want an option like this. Not saying the dev is completely abandoning Impulse users, but he is giving us up in a way. If the game won't sell, Impulse won't want to keep paying for server bandwidth to keep up to date patches available for users and Impulse will drop it eventually, especially considering their new partner. Don't leave us dry, let us trade in our keys for a version direct from the developer.

Thy Reaper

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 07:50:48 PM »
The version from impulse would be identical to one from us, so I'm not sure what that would accomplish.

T-Bone Biggins

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 08:15:38 PM »
So I could download the demo from this website and use my serial from Impulse to install and unlock the full game? That is the point of what I was saying is Impulse may allow updates but can we indefinitely re-download the game at any time?

Thy Reaper

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2011, 08:38:04 PM »
Ah, now I see what you meant. We don't really have even the beginnings of something like that working, so I don't know if that is either possible or likely.

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 09:10:51 PM »
Ah, now I see what you meant. We don't really have even the beginnings of something like that working, so I don't know if that is either possible or likely.

The main thing would be to have the account information (email and serial code) for the copies sold by the time it stops being availible. Then an alternative can be setup at a later if it is needed.

T-Bone Biggins

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 09:35:10 PM »
Well I hope it's possible.  Again, look to Isotx with Iron Grip: Warlord and what they did, they simply generated new serials for the demo copies of the game from the website to unlock to full. To verify this would be the issue so you don't give away free copies though.

By the way I don't blame Blind-Mind for leaving the grip of Gamestop, it just bugs me because Star Ruler is one game I don't want to lose. The rest of the games I own on Impulse like Capitalism 2 can go away with minimal effect to me  :)

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2011, 09:42:18 PM »
Well I hope it's possible.  Again, look to Isotx with Iron Grip: Warlord and what they did, they simply generated new serials for the demo copies of the game from the website to unlock to full. To verify this would be the issue so you don't give away free copies though.

By the way I don't blame Blind-Mind for leaving the grip of Gamestop, it just bugs me because Star Ruler is one game I don't want to lose. The rest of the games I own on Impulse like Capitalism 2 can go away with minimal effect to me  :)

You can try archiving it, which will allow a reinstall without connecting to the server.

maxi

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2011, 02:22:04 AM »
I have few questions because I didn't understand few things. You said your goals were opposing to GameStop. What are yours? What  is Brad Wardell's vision of Impulse? One more question concerning the game. If I reinstall Windows, will I have to do it with the game? Of course required components like OpenAL, VC Express etc. I will have to reinstall, I just ask about the game.

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2011, 08:57:09 AM »
I have few questions because I didn't understand few things. You said your goals were opposing to GameStop. What are yours? What  is Brad Wardell's vision of Impulse? One more question concerning the game. If I reinstall Windows, will I have to do it with the game? Of course required components like OpenAL, VC Express etc. I will have to reinstall, I just ask about the game.

For Brad's vision, see: http://www.gamersbillofrights.org/

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2011, 09:34:55 AM »
We have no DRM and other than OpenAL and the VCRedist Star Ruler has no dependencies that must be installed.  So if you'd like to make backups of your game all you have to do is just make a copy of the folder the game resides in and put it elsewhere.  Now this does not work with Steam of course as you'd need to use their special backup command to properly get it, but Steam keeps a record of all the games you've bought anyway so there shouldn't be a huge need to back it up except to prevent things like bandwidth usage.

Impulse also has an archive option somewhere but I'm unsure how it works and where it is.
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Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2011, 09:50:02 AM »
(For those that want to know how to archive Impulse applications)

Open Impulse, goto My Games, and select the game. Right click it and select Archive Application from the drop down (or Download and Archive if it is not installed). There is a option in the "Folders" settings for Impulse to select where the archive will go, but it does not seem to work so it just lets you know where to find them.

It might be good to check and see if the archive works, as this function was never really meant to work except for Stardock's own desktop applications which are subscription based (so this is the only way to install the version you had access to before the sub ran out).

Edit: One small note on restoring the archive. The target install folder must already exist or it will fail. It can create the subfolders, but not the install directory itself.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 09:57:04 AM by Amethyst »

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2011, 09:51:28 AM »
Thanks, Amethyst.  +1
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ZStar20

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2011, 04:12:37 PM »
Still waiting on Stardock and Gamestop to both jump out and say "APRIL FOOLS, WE JUST EXTENDED IT A FEW DAYS!"....

Right?  :)

Right?  :-[

 :'(


ALL HAS BEEN LOST. *Jumps off cliff*

However, I do wish to see if Gamestop may do a miraculous 180 in their treatment of PC gamers with Impulse and as such I hope everything works out for the best. *Shrug*

Still wish to support Stardock, and thus I will continue to use Impulse for their games; but I most likely will switch over to Gamersgate if the quality of Impulse lowers dramatically.  Anyways I shall be the first to bitch if something goes awry with Star Ruler on Impulse, and as well continue to look forward to the updates that change Star Ruler.

Now time to go back to lurking.

ObliviousTrek

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2011, 08:24:55 PM »
I really have trouble understanding why Stardock sold Impulse. Stardock say the ideal partner for the sale was Gamestop. And yet it appears that Brad wardell hasnt done any research on Gamestop and it bad practices. Like the destruction of PC Gaming.

Impulse was the most profitable business for them in the last year and this in itself doesn't make any sense why they sold it off. I am not a businessman but i do have some common sense. Why would i sell a business that was more profitable than Stardock. The argument for this is that Brad Wardell claims that impulse was taking up more Stardock resources. So he would rather sell impulse and concentrate on the publishing side instead. Okay fair enough. But it seems to me that Brad Wardell has the inability to run two companies together.

For Brad Wardell i think this will be a very costly mistake. There is a lot of anti Gamestop sentiment on the Stardock forums. A lot of users say they will not purchased any more games because of the sale. Which means this will hurt Stardock in future sales as there customers abandon them. BlindMind did make the right decision.

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 01:13:25 AM »
I'm not so sure I can support this. Gamestop has been a poor supporter for PC games, but dropping them without giving them a shot isn't something I can agree with, at least for the time being. They've done their best to keep their business and as you said stuck to the big titles, but there's the chance this gives them the opportunity to do otherwise. With the purchase of Impulse they can take chances (no worries of wasted shelf space) and it's due in part to the idea that they just about have to. Just from a financial position they're losing out on the PC market, and getting into this half-assed will put them next to GFWL, so wouldn't you think they'd do what they could to compete with Steam? Call me optimistic, but while I'm not enthusiastic about the sale and also worry it's more of a desperate move from Wardell to recoup some of Elemental's projected profits(?) I can't write GS off when it's possible this could be for the better. All in all Impulse is going to be turned down without a thought, but Steam, who stated Star Ruler wasn't wanted thanks to too many games like it, is that much better than Impulse's potential future....

mnjiman

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2011, 01:43:26 AM »
My only concern is when/if Gamestop no longer holds Star Ruler... how will I be able to re-download the game If i need too? Ill be forced to rebuy it.

Texada

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2011, 01:56:08 AM »
I'm not so sure I can support this. Gamestop has been a poor supporter for PC games, but dropping them without giving them a shot isn't something I can agree with, at least for the time being. They've done their best to keep their business and as you said stuck to the big titles, but there's the chance this gives them the opportunity to do otherwise. With the purchase of Impulse they can take chances (no worries of wasted shelf space) and it's due in part to the idea that they just about have to. Just from a financial position they're losing out on the PC market, and getting into this half-assed will put them next to GFWL, so wouldn't you think they'd do what they could to compete with Steam? Call me optimistic, but while I'm not enthusiastic about the sale and also worry it's more of a desperate move from Wardell to recoup some of Elemental's projected profits(?) I can't write GS off when it's possible this could be for the better. All in all Impulse is going to be turned down without a thought, but Steam, who stated Star Ruler wasn't wanted thanks to too many games like it, is that much better than Impulse's potential future....

Gamestop (like the British version Game) is a video game pawnshop.

I bet anything that they will make a "used" games download service for Impulse (that meaning some sort of DRM)

Then BMS and the other independent developers might as well not be on Impulse at all by that point.

Remylebeau_88

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2011, 02:07:54 AM »
I bet anything that they will make a "used" games download service for Impulse (that meaning some sort of DRM)

I'm not sure I follow. Are you suggesting GS would implement this form of DRM that would render any "purchase" into a rental? I can't figure how that would make sense to anyone or how a fear of a company would be so far flung. I'm just a little worried that BMS are getting sucked into this speculating and, for the time being, extraneous scare.

Nodachi

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2011, 04:25:53 AM »
Gamestop (like the British version Game) is a video game pawnshop.
And that is the core reason game publishers hate them. When gamestop sells a used game the publisher doesn't get a cut and they somehow seem to think that they should. That's why the media companies, including software publishers, are trying to take away our right of first sale by claiming that we're not buying anything but a "license" to use their stuff.

Now, before someone jumps on me, I'm not claiming this is the reasoning behind BMS leaving Impulse, BMS has already stated their reasons for the move.

Firgof

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2011, 11:27:24 AM »
Additionally, do note that though we cannot divulge the specifics, when we wrote that we had to make a decision rather quickly that that was meant in the most literal sense possible.  We could not 'wait and see'.  We made this decision based on historical appraisal; they even have had their own digital distribution service for quite some time.  With it not being a success, and also not representing many indie titles at all, that bred zero confidence in our outlook for Impulse being managed by them.

Quote
My only concern is when/if Gamestop no longer holds Star Ruler... how will I be able to re-download the game If i need too? Ill be forced to rebuy it.
Star Ruler should continue to persist on Impulse but not be sold.  This means that the files should be available for redownload at any time.  I would recommend backing the game up on your own backup media; it has no DRM so you should have no trouble reinstalling the game at any point.
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Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2011, 12:08:23 PM »
Impulse was the most profitable business for them in the last year and this in itself doesn't make any sense why they sold it off. I am not a businessman but i do have some common sense. Why would i sell a business that was more profitable than Stardock. The argument for this is that Brad Wardell claims that impulse was taking up more Stardock resources. So he would rather sell impulse and concentrate on the publishing side instead. Okay fair enough. But it seems to me that Brad Wardell has the inability to run two companies together.

The reason given is they would not be able to do what they like doing (and he is in the business because he likes it, not for money), which is creating cool software. Or do be more precise, they would be stuck making software for Impulse. Look at Valve, they have only released one new game of late.

Now for a publically traded company this would truely be a crap decision.

Amethyst

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2011, 12:12:39 PM »
I'm not so sure I can support this. Gamestop has been a poor supporter for PC games, but dropping them without giving them a shot isn't something I can agree with, at least for the time being. They've done their best to keep their business and as you said stuck to the big titles, but there's the chance this gives them the opportunity to do otherwise. With the purchase of Impulse they can take chances (no worries of wasted shelf space) and it's due in part to the idea that they just about have to. Just from a financial position they're losing out on the PC market, and getting into this half-assed will put them next to GFWL, so wouldn't you think they'd do what they could to compete with Steam? Call me optimistic, but while I'm not enthusiastic about the sale and also worry it's more of a desperate move from Wardell to recoup some of Elemental's projected profits(?) I can't write GS off when it's possible this could be for the better. All in all Impulse is going to be turned down without a thought, but Steam, who stated Star Ruler wasn't wanted thanks to too many games like it, is that much better than Impulse's potential future....

Stardock did not need the money; their desktop applications alone sales paid for Elemental. And Impulse made more than the desktop apps.

On another forum it has been said (if I remember correctly) part of why the decision to remove Star Ruler from sale on Impulse was so quick is Gamestop could change the contract BMS has with Impulse.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 12:16:28 PM by Amethyst »

Ynglaur

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2011, 12:47:57 PM »
Such a shame...I know Brad's long-term vision for Impulse was to have it be a distribution platform for large amounts of freeware applications, in addition to paid applications.  Other than Corel and Stardock's own products, though, I don't think it ever grained traction with non-game applications.

DarkShrike

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Re: Star Ruler to no longer be available on Impulse
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2011, 01:00:51 PM »
Ironically it had to be your repudiation of the new gamestop overlords that led me to discover this game but now that I have found you - consider this notification of another purchase.

HOW did I not see this one coming down the pipes???