It is no secret that online distribution of media, all types of media, is becoming a powerhouse. Customers are steadily making the switch from physical brick-and-mortar retail outlets to buying and selling media over an Internet connection. In fact, it is such that certain types of digital distributors are actually making more money and becoming more and more popular than their physical, tangible alternatives. Companies such as Tower Records and Blockbuster Video are just a few of the more recent casualties in the move to digital distribution. It is an oft-cited quote that “those who cannot adapt are destined to perish,” to paraphrase from scientific literature. As such, it can be seen that the aforementioned companies were unable or unwilling to adapt to a digital distribution business model. It seems that this lesson is not lost on some companies.

GameStop, the largest video game retailer in the world, is easing itself into the digital era. The company has recently acquired two digital gaming distribution houses, Spawn Labs and Impulse, in an effort to achieve the rare hybrid of physical and digital media distribution. It will not be the first time digital and physical were set together in a cooperative model rather than a competitive one, but this is the first such experiment for the gaming industry. Spawn Labs will allow GameStop users to stream and play games directly to their consoles or systems. Impulse, however, is in the business of selling downloadable games to users. For more information, please visit Games Beat.


About Jim Happer

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