What I meant was, what developer/publisher in their right mind would give Impulse/Gestapo (Sorry, gamestop) exclusivity on selling their game? Because that's the only thing that could actually make Impulse properly relevant nowadays, specially considering they're likely to lose the Stardock exclusivity. And as it stands, Impulse offers nothing at all over other DD systems like Steam.
Gamestop can and will exert their power over publishers to make Impulse a requirement no matter where you buy the game on certain titles, just like Steamworks is for many titles. That's pretty much the same as an exclusive, no matter where you buy X game you get Impulse.
There is no way Steam is in any way unbeatable. People have made the mistake of calling tons of companies unbeatable before and competition always comes around. In the game business alone look at Nintendo dominance followed by Sony dominance and now followed by Nintendo dominance again (with Xbox dominance in shooters).
Steam is the kind now, but strong competition from dedicated parties can easily knock them down. Microsoft didn't have their hearts in with Games for Windows Live... let's see if Gamestop does.
But there's the point, Steam isn't famous only for Steamworks games. Steam is the most used system because it reaches far and wide, and only a few games happen to be region-locked (Unless you live in Japan). Impulse is the opposite, most high profile games are US only, prices are too fluctuating/hard to understand (They insist on showing them on your country's currency rather than USD), no proper community system implemented, catalog is actually VERY lackluster when setting aside stardock games, finding what you want in the store is a pain and the system to manage your games isn't good at all. I love stardock, but Impulse, as it stands, is horribly weak, meaning that Gamestop, a company that isn't exactly known for being nice and open to sales (They won't sell anything to anyone outside the US) would need to heavily change how it works and invest a huge amount of money on top of what they already must've paid to acquire Impulse. I just can't see it working, I think it'd be much more likely for D2D to finally rise (and that'd be quite horrible) than for gamestop, out of all companies, to manage to obtain the lion's share of the market.
Also, the console dominance has been marked by generations, but PC gaming doesn't have generations on itself, just as retailers don't either. Nintendo lost dominance after SNES because of N64cards and gamecube fiasco. Sony lost dominance after PS2 because of ridiculously expensive PS3 and very few worthwhile exclusives. However, this doesn't happen on PC gaming. In consoles, the console that sells more is automatically the winner. However, that doesn't translate to any digital distribution methods. Forcing people to use your system won't make them love you (I've seen many, many people complain of steam after being forced to use it on steamworks games, and some even refusing to buy said games), a good system people can relate to makes them love you.
And as it stands, not many people can relate to Gamestop. Specially PC gamers.
I'm also wondering how they'll manage to turn a profit without a secondary market, considering their retail strategy consists on selling literally the same game 4 to 5 times, rebuying cheap and reselling expensive over and over.