Valve games now available through Impulse

EA has received a lot of well-deserved flak for making certain new games exclusive to its Origin distribution service. All PC releases should be available on Steam, proponents of the competing service say. I’m inclined to agree, as are most of our readers.

Valve hasn’t been in a particularly strong position to complain, though. For years, its own titles have only been available in downloadable form via Steam. That’s now changed, with GameStop announcing that a collection of Valve games are now available via its Impulse service. Portal 2, both Left 4 Dead games, The Orange Box, and the complete Half-Life collection can now be purchased via the competing distribution platform. Well, I wouldn’t call Impulse competitive with Steam, but you know.

Although those games are all available for purchase through Impulse now, you’ll still need the Steam client to install and play them. We should be surprised; even the DVD versions of Valve games sold in retail locations require Steam. This is just another example of how Steam is more like Origin and Games for Windows Live than some folks would like to admit. That said, Steam does look a whole lot better than the alternatives.

While it’s nice to see Valve cooperating with other distribution platforms, I can’t help but wonder if future Valve games will be available on Impulse right at launch. If Steam is required anyway, there doesn’t seem to be much point in buying through Impulse. Right now, the service actually charges five to nine cents more than Steam for all the Valve games it offers. Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the tip.

Comments closed
    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    Origin sells various Valve games but it looks like they are boxed copies.

    Impulse is cool. You don’t need to have their program running to play your games. The games do their own DRM if they so desire. But there are no integrated multiplayer features AFAIK.

    When Gamestop bought out Impulse, I noticed Impulse’s exclusives show up on Steam. So maybe this is part of the deal there.

    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    If EA wants to make Origins a viable service, integrate it into SWTOR and make it more user-friendly like Battle.net.

    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    The reason why most people don’t care about Valve games on other services is because Steam is the best online distribution method for games out there. I don’t see a reason to use a lesser service to get their games.

    • FubbHead
    • 8 years ago

    Would be nice if the could take it one step further and develop a “thin” client just for starting their games, and nothing else.

      • Scrotos
      • 8 years ago

      I think that’s called “OnLive”. 😀

    • Turiel
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<][b<]All PC releases should be available on Steam[/b<], proponents of the competing service say. [b<]I'm inclined to agree, as are most of our readers.[/b<][/quote<] What a joke. Kiss more ass? I would seriously pay money to watch you fanboys cry when some company buys out Steam and burns it into the ground. And the only regret I would have is that I can't videotape all those ugly faces.

      • SHOES
      • 8 years ago

      Why do you get such satisfaction from the disappointment of others? Millions of people like steam just because you don’t doesn’t mean you have to go around trying to convince everyone that because they don’t think like you they are retarted.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      It might be a case of kissing ass, except for the fact that it is true. Steam is awesome. Learn it, live it, love it.

      • swaaye
      • 8 years ago

      I like this post.

      • FranzVonPapen
      • 8 years ago

      Name me one company likely to “buy out Steam” (do you mean Valve? Steam is just a service) and then “burn it into the ground.” Did you mean “run it into the ground” or perhaps “burn it down”?

      Try not to mix your metaphors when trolling.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    This is like throwing one of your competitors that serves no real risk a bone for the sake of looking good. Almost all of Valves games are ancient, Portal 2 being the exception. When I read this I thought that they had access to ALL of Steams games…

    And yeah, Steam is a lot like Origin, but Steam is quite a bit more userfriendly and doesn’t seem like a hodge podge mess. People don’t want five different content distribution systems on their computer. Especially when they’re supposed to take part in friends lists and other community features on all of them.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    I used to really like impulse as a gamestop alternative. It used to only sell DRM free games… there was a time. Now GOG is the future of that perview. steam is a good series of balances, you have a DRM that roots itself in providing a service to justify its existence. As long as the Steam service covers up the DRM I’m ok investing in it.

    • Dashak
    • 8 years ago

    I was a bit incredulous to hear that they would be made playable without Steam, but I guess that’s not happening. I’m a huge Steam fan, but I keep hearing about people who aren’t… so it would have been nice for them.

    • rythex
    • 8 years ago

    EA is their own company, they can do whatever they want. I could care less if I have one extra icon on my taskbar. Yes EA’s Origin is pretty lame but I’m not going to sit here and cry about it on a blog.

      • lycium
      • 8 years ago

      saying you could care less implies you care a little

        • SPOOFE
        • 8 years ago

        It’s like approaching Absolute Zero… you CAN extract more heat from the molecule, but wow, it gets harder and harder to the closer you get.

        • burntham77
        • 8 years ago

        I could kiss you.

        • deinabog
        • 8 years ago

        He cares a lot actually.

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t have a government grant monopoly on their games instead of letting the free market handle it.

      • FranzVonPapen
      • 8 years ago

      Wow, the EA apologists are out in force! I guess school let out early today.

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    WTF is impulse?

      • SPOOFE
      • 8 years ago

      It’s when you’re suddenly smitten with a profoundly powerful urge to engage in something.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      it WAS stardocks completely free drm digital distribution service. you people whine about drm, but when a real service comes out with what you want, you stick to steam and it’s drm. lame.
      now it’s owned by gamestop.

        • yogibbear
        • 8 years ago

        Nah I stick to a combo of Steam and GOG 😛

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 8 years ago

        The gamestop purchase put a damper on my impulse use. Steam/GOG now. I bought my stardock games through impulse and a few others. It was a good service, but the higher prices kept me from making a lot of purchases. Desura might end up being the new Impulse, actually. They are continuing the spirit of Impulse, even though Stardock/Impulse mostly paid lip service to respecting their customers. Gamestop could probably turn Impulse into a good service for their store, or at least a lot of their employee’s think so. I’ve heard rumors about planned improvements anyway. I doubt customers will get any great deals though, considering both gamestop and Impulse aren’t wallet friendly.

        IMO, the OP is exaggerating the name recognition, since Impulse is probably the best steam alternative, and it’s been around for a while. If anything, what’s d2d? gamersgate? Origin? Known only because of the controversy. DotEmu? -GOG alternative? Desura? -ModDB. Most of the services don’t get looked at unless they’re tied into something. For a while there I was even wondering about GPGNet becoming a service. W/E.

      • pikaporeon
      • 8 years ago

      How to get all the weapons in half life

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 8 years ago

        impulse -1

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      It’s the name of the Enterprise engines when they weren’t at warp speed.

      • Sahrin
      • 8 years ago

      Impulse is the magnetic confinement deuterium-hydrogen fusion reactor technology used aboard most federation starships. The Impulse reactors provide main power to most of the ship’s systems (the notable exception being the warp field generators, which are powered by a matter-antimatter reactor), as well as the ship’s sublight engines called “Impulse Engines” – it is from the sublight engines that the reactors derive their name.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 8 years ago

    It’s nice to see Valve the developer separating themselves from Valve the retailer. There was always some conflict of interest there.

    By the way, the games still require Steam to play, so I doubt many will be buying them on Impulse.

      • Scrotos
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, but if most of your existing collection is on Impulse, this keeps it all together. Even if you need Steam to login and play, it doesn’t mean you’ll dump your library just to start buying stuff on Steam instead of Impulse.

    • drfish
    • 8 years ago

    +1 for the comic, it says it all.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 8 years ago

    This is the first time I’ve even heard of Impulse.

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    I guess they are making 5-9 cents per purchase then.

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