GameStop has started a new publishing division called GameTrust and signed The Order 1886 creator Ready At Dawn, Tequila Works, Frozenbyte. Back in March the company revealed its involvement with Ratchet and Clank but at the time it said it was a one time thing.
The firm is in discussion with 20 other developers, according to VP of Internal Development and Diversification Mark Stanley. GameStop is looking to launch around 5 to 10 games per year.
GameStop publishing division will act as a game label similar to Curve, Koch, 505 Games or Team17. Developers will retain all creative rights to their games and GameStop will have no creative involvement in their projects.
Having been in the publishing part of first-party for many years [he worked for PlayStation in Latin America], there are many pieces in traditional publishing that have prevented many 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 dreamt of making. We are trying to solve a lot of pieces there with GameTrust, and the model covers a lot of things. We can help if a developer needs funding to finish a game, or even kick-off a game.
We may partner in a full development funding mode, or we may have a development partner who has a game that is almost finished and are just looking for someone that can treat their IP in a great way and bring it to market.
Basically, they will help if devs need funding for the game or help finishing it. “Every IP that we are working with from these developers are smaller-scale games, it’s an area of games development that is pretty much ignored by traditional publishers… we are talking of games with development budgets of up to $15m. Publishers today really focus on the larger franchises and triple-A, where budgets are $30m and above”
GameStop will use its chain of retail stores to push these games and market them to consumers. GameStop is also considering teaming with ThinkGeek division to produce merchandise before a game releases.