Steam and GamersGate prove indie credentials following GameStop acquisition

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The Independent Tech

PC download charts for the week ending April 4 show that Steam and GamersGate are well placed to pick up any slack should new GameStop acquisition Impulse abandon its traditional niche interests.

Impulse was founded by software company Stardock and became adept at finding, publishing, and selling good quality strategy games alongside a selection of mainstream titles.

That's exemplified by this week's best-sellers: The Sims Medieval - a hit everywhere it's available - accompanies the ever-present Sins of a Solar Empire, along with Starpoint Gemini, the third in the Star Wolves series, and role-playing fantasy Disciples III.

Starpoint Gemini is also distributed by Impulse competitor GamersGate. Like Impulse, GamersGate was set up by a games studio and leans towards strategy and simulation titles developed by smaller studios.

Whether Steam's chart serves as a model for the future of GameStop/Impulse downloads remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the majority of chatting titles are backed by significant development and marketing resources.

Sneaking into fifth is The Potato Sack, thirteen top indie games gathered in a $38 bundle (€35 or £27).

The pack also appears to be part of a cross-promotional effort, something GameStop could approve of, though its precise purpose is not yet clear.

Each game has been updated with mysterious potato-related items, leading web sleuths to set up valvearg.info in order to collect findings and pool theories. Is it to do with Portal 2? Half-Life 3? Or is "PotatoFoolsDay" a bout of simple, April Fools Day silliness?

PC download charts for the week ending April 4
Steam* ( steampowered.com)
1) Crysis 2
2) Portal 2
3) Call of Duty: Black Ops - First Strike Pack
4) Total War: Shogun 2
5) The Potato Sack
*Based on revenue, not units sold

Direct2Drive ( direct2drive.com)
1) The Sims Medieval
2) Total War: Shogun 2
3) RIFT Digital Collector's Edition
4) Battlefield: Bad Company 2
5) Crysis 2

GamersGate ( gamersgate.com)
1) Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game
2) IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover
3) The Sims Medieval
4) Sword of the Stars Complete Collection
5) Total War: Shogun 2

Impulse ( impulsedriven.com)
1) Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity
2) The Sims Medieval
3) Star Wolves 3 - Civil War
4) Starpoint Gemini
5) Disciples III - Renaissance

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