Gaming retailer GameStop said Monday that it would continue its move into the game publishing business, with a new publishing label called GameTrust. In January, the company had announced that it would publish the next game from Ratchet and Clank studio Insomniac, an adventure game called Song of the Deep. Today, it expanded its ambitions, saying that GameTrust would also publish new games from noted studios Ready at Dawn (The Order: 1886), Frozenbyte (Trine), and Tequila Works (Deadlight). "Unlike a traditional video game publisher, GameTrust is not part of the creative process," GameStop said in a statement. "Instead, it is focusing on discovering creative and fun games from innovative independent developers that can benefit from GameStop's expertise and retail channels to support marketing and connecting their games with a broader global audience."
ORG XMIT: 131672750 NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 07: GameStop employee Randi Taber stacks copies of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" during a launch event for the highly anticipated video game at a GameStop Corp. store November 7, 2011 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Video game publisher Activision released the eighth installment in the '"Call of Duty" franchise at midnight on November 8. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: 131913279 (Photo: Ethan Miller Getty Images) Video game retailer GameStop is making a move into publishing. The company announced Monday a venture called GameTrust, which will publish video games for multiple platforms from independent studios. Studios Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank), Ready at Dawn (The Order: 1886) and Frozenbyte (Trine) are among the indie studios creating games that will be published through GameTrust. Mark Stanley, GameStop's vice president of internal development and diversification, says the venture will focus on games "largely ignored by big publishers" in favor of triple-A titles.
Ready at Dawn co-founder and president Ru Weerasuriya missed the atmosphere that had pervaded the office's gaming space before work started on The Order. Back then, groups of developers would play Bomberman or Mario Kart late into the night, laughing, yelling and trying to out-maneuver each other. In short, Weerasuriya missed co-op. That's one reason Ready at Dawn's new game, De-formers, is such a drastic shift from The Order. It's a cheery, multiplayer-only title starring a lineup of adorable boneless blobs that come in a rainbow of colors.
And despite GameStop's tendency to protect its retail business at all costs, this will include digital releases on top of old-school discs. It's not clear which distribution platforms GameTrust will reach, but it will produce games for both consoles and PCs, including in VR when relevant. GameStop's sales continue to drop as the industry moves toward digital releases -- it knows that it can't rely on physical game sales forever, and it has been diversifying its offerings for years. Becoming a game publisher not only gives GameStop something unique to offer at retail, but helps its bottom line even if players are happy with downloading games at home.
Insomniac Games is ratcheting up its work in virtual reality. The developer best known for the "Resistance" and "Ratchet & Clank" franchises is set to release three VR games for the recently released Oculus Rift system in 2016. After four years in development, the Oculus Rift began shipping to consumers March 28. Despite the technology's untested position in the marketplace, Insomniac Games is moving full force into the emerging 360-degree interactive medium. "We went in with open eyes," said Insomniac Games President and CEO Ted Price.