Digital distributor Impulse has announced new details about its upcoming game developer platform SDK, Impulse::Reactor. The next beta drop, scheduled later this month, is expected to include various tools to help developers implement free-to-play features into PC games, such as in-game stores, feature unlocking, and downloadable content management.

“The increasing growth of the free to play model along with premium downloadable content has created a lot of interest in the game development community for tools that make it easy to integrate these capabilities into their games,” said Brad Wardell, CEO of Impulse, Inc.

Impulse::Reactor has been in beta for the past year to select developer partners. It enables game developers to add digital rights management (DRM), multiplayer match-making, community features, and downloadable content support.

“We see the free to play model for PC gaming becoming increasingly dominant over the next couple of years across multiple genres,” said Brian Clair, director of publishing for Stardock. “Impulse::Reactor will let our customers begin to pick and choose what features and content they want, allowing us to reduce the up-front price on our games in the future.”

Impluse::Reactor’s big draw for digital distributors is that it doesn’t require that an external client be included with the game. Instead, the developer only has to include the Impulse::Reactor DLLs with their title and pick and choose which features of it they wish to make use of.This allows the “vender neutral” Impluse::Reactor to integrate seamlessly with other software development kits (SDKs).

“When a gamer loads up their game, they will see an option called ‘Add Features.’ Choosing this option will take them to an in-game catalog that displays all features available,” explained Wardell. “Some features may be content (maps, campaigns, levels, skins, items, quests, etc.). Other features may be extensions to the game itself (multiplayer, new game modes, etc.)”

Impulse::Reactor v1.0 is anticipated to become available this summer. Currently it’s still in internal beta and only available to select developers. Developers can sign up for the beta here.