GameStop Launches GameTrust Publishing For Indie Developers, Signs FrozenByte And Tequila Works
The Internet can make it sound like GameStop is one of the worst things to ever happen to gaming, but with the company's latest move, that mindset could very well be reversed. That's because with its new "GameTrust" venture, GameStop is looking to help make the process of publishing games a lot easier for indie developers. We've all heard that kind of promise before, but considering the fact that Trine's FrozenByte and Deadlight's Tequila Works have already signed up, GameStop must be doing something right.
While GameTrust is in effect a game publisher, it's going to be operating differently than most. A big example of how is with the company's own creative input. In effect, it won't have any. That's a big deal, because publishers generally have the capacity to steer the game development ship in a certain direction, and all-too-often, that's not what developers (or gamers) want.
A great example to look at with this kind of issue is Ubisoft. The company publishes many games for developers, and with that being the case, it means that every single one of those games must be available through Uplay - something typically frowned upon by devout PC gamers. That kind of thing wouldn't happen with GameTrust, and it could be that the company's own name is a reflection of that - you can trust GameStop to simply help, not direct.
GameStop's Mark Stanley had this to say, "By allowing developers to fully focus on their craft, GameTrust can focus on all other aspects of bringing a new IP to market, leveraging our deep expertise and retail channel leadership to support each developer and connect their games with a broader global audience."
Wouldn't it be amazing if all game publishers accepted that way of thinking? This isn't to say that most publishers adversely affect the games they publish on behalf of developers, but it does happen way too often. With GameTrust, developers can rest assured that they will be left alone to craft their product in their vision. Ultimately, instead of having a publisher offer input, it should be the gamers offering their two cents.
A more subtle reality with this move by GameStop is that the company is trying in a big way to protect its business for the future. With fewer and fewer gamers purchasing hard copies of their games, companies like GameStop have to try harder than ever to get people into their stores. With a side business like this, it could help negate those dwindling in-store sales.
As mentioned above, Frozenbyte and Tequila Works have signed on board, and so too have Ready at Dawn (The Order: 1886) and Insomniac Games (Rachet & Clank). Currently, only Insomniac has an announced game under GameTrust, called Song of the Deep, due out this summer for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the PC.