Video game retailer GameStop has announced a new publishing division called GameTrust. GameTrust will target small to mid-size indie developers and games. “Honestly, we’re not going to be looking at big $15 million-plus franchises right now,” said Mark Stanely, VP of internal development at GameStop. “We’re looking at smaller games and launching them at times of the year where we stay away from that massive fourth quarter craziness.”
GameTrust will take a strict hands-off approach. They leave full creative control of the games to the developer. The focus will be on marketing and distribution. The goal is to create a AAA multimedia franchise for each game. By creating strong brands, GameStop could sell tie-in toys and other merchandise.
GameStop acquired geeky merchandise store ThinkGeek last year. A new publishing division confirms GameStop’s shift away from just selling games. Stanley told Gamasutra that GameStop’s goals are to reduce core game sales to 50% of total revenue by 2017.
The retailer first dipped their toes into publishing earlier this year. Their first partnership with Insomniac Games’ Song of the Deep was announced in January. Song of the Deep is a side-scrolling adventure. It stars a young girl in a submarine searching for her father. Insomniac Games’ founder Ted Price was very positive: “We have full creative control over what the game is and how it’s being developed. GameStop has been incredibly collaborative and supportive of everything we’re doing.”
GameTrust announced three new developers they are working with. They are Frozenbyte (Trine), Ready at Dawn Studios (The Order: 1886), and Tequila Works (Deadlight).
Song of the Deep is set to release on July 12.