GameStop, the leading brick-and-mortar retailer, took two big steps into the digital market. They've acquired streaming technology company Spawn Labs and have entered into an agreement to buy Stardock's digital shop Impulse.

"Our customers are gaming in many locations and on many devices, and we need to deliver the same great immersive experience that they have come to expect," said GameStop president Tony Bartel. "Spawn Labs and Impulse provide a customer-friendly and publisher-friendly way for us to accomplish this."

Spawn Labs is developing a new consumer interface that will let users access HD video games on demand through Internet-enabled devices. Impulse, meanwhile, provides GameStop with a ready-made digital store with over 1,100 games and all the usual trappings, like DRM and social features.

The Impulse acquisition is expected to be finalized in May 2011. Within a few months, it will be fully integrated with Gamestop's website. Until then, Impulse will continue to operate so you can still buy games through them.

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