GameStop is Expanding to the Publishing World

Even if all you play are cocktail table arcade games, chances are good you have heard of GameStop, one of the world’s premier video game retailers. The franchise currently runs over 6,900 stores in 14 different countries. Now, GameStop is expanding with the creation of GameTrust, an independent video game publishing label.

An Unlikely Pairing?

At face value, it might seem strange that GameStop would make this move. After all, they make money from the sale and resale of both new and used video games from many popular publishers. The company has been criticized for undermining the profits of video game creators due to their business model. But now, their new division is going to fund, market and publish games, adding an interesting element to their previous business model.

GameTrust Will Likely Be a Major Success

GameTrust is setting itself apart from other major publishers by focusing on games with smaller budgets. They plan on releasing between five and 10 games every year, all with budgets up to $15 million. They will sell physical copies of their games in stores, as well as merchandise from their games through their collectibles line.

Since GameStop has built a major customer base throughout the years, with 46 million rewards program customers and 64 million store visitors, the company has a large audience they can market the games to.

The first game published by GameTrust will be Song of the Deep, working in conjunction with indie developer Insomniac Games. The game is set to premier on July 12. They have also partnered with Barnes and Noble to release a children’s book based on the game.

Three other indie studios have signed deals with GameTrust, including Ready at Dawn Studios, FrozenByte and Tequila Works. GameTrust will allow the individual studios to maintain creative rights to their work, and is currently in deal discussions with multiple additional studios.

GameTrust also expects to get involved in the virtual reality market, but is postponing any major moves until 2017, until they receive market feedback from consumers.

Your monthly (or weekly) trip to GameStop is about to become a little more interesting.