GameStop has created a publishing division, dubbed GameTrust and is working with some big names for future content.
Mark Stanley stated, In an interview with MVC, that GameStop will start a game publishing imprint, GameTrust. Mark Stanely is GameStop’s VP of Internal Development and Diversification. He stated that they’ll be working with some of the top names in the industry, like Ready at Dawn, Tequila Works, and Insomniac Games.
Previously, GameStop planned to develop Song of the Deep with Insomniac Games. It was going to be a one time venture. However, now Stanley has stated that GameTrust will attempt to launch five to ten games per year. The company will have no involvement in the creative process, and instead will back the studios financially. Stanley states, “We can help if a developer needs funding to finish a game, or even kick-off a game.” The lack of creative control will give independent publishers more breathing room. Stanley cites overbearing publishers as being the reason why independents eschew traditional publishing.
GameStop is responsible for selling the majority of AAA games to consumers. If the retailer were to finance it’s own games, they could create unwanted competition for other triple A developers. To address the problem, GameTrust will be treated “as a separate vertical within GameStop.” He goes on to say that the games in development will be smaller than the other triple A titles. The company is not expecting a huge return on the venture right away. “Right now that there is no big expectation for this to be the next billion dollar business for GameStop,” he says.
GameTrust’s philosophy seems sound. It’s better to leave the creating to the developers and not business men. It will be interesting to see content from small studios that have proper financial backing. The interview draws a parallel between GameTrust and Netflix. Both companies have been known for providing entertainment, but not creating original content. Netflix Originals have been pretty well received, and the same model may be just as successful for video games.