GameStop has taken their first steps into the publishing field, with the launch of their new division: GameTrust. They have signed games from independent studios like Ready at Dawn, Tequila Works, and Frozenbyte. They are also working with Insomniac on a game, titled Song of the Deep, due out this summer. VP of Internal Development and Diversification Mark Stanley says the firm is in discussion with 20 developers. In total, GameTrust is aiming to launch 5 to 10 games a year, while letting developers retain full rights. GameStop will play no part in the development process.

“There is no cookie cutter offer. Having been in the publishing part for many years (working for Playstation), there are many pieces in publishing that have prevented independent developers going down the publishing route. A lot of these included lack of creative control and the inability to make some of the game they always dreamed of making.”

— Mark Stanley, MCV

GameTrust is focusing on a largely untapped market working with developers on smaller scale games with budgets of up to $15 million. They are working in a sweet spot that is largely ignored, but are treating these IPs as if they are triple-As. Other publishers focus on larger franchises and triple-A titles, budgets with $30m and up.

“We are not just going to put a disc on a peg on a shelf, we are going to treat these games as triple-A by expanding the media…. With Song of the Deep we are publishing a book with Barnes and Noble, and are also looking at potential TV and movie deals.”

— Mark Stanley, MCV

They plan to utilize every asset they have to publish these games, including ThinkGeek to make merchandise before game launch. With ideas like multi-platform support, backed by the funding of GameStop, there is a great potential for innovation here.