Now that GameStop has dipped its toes into game publishing, it's ready to jump in with both feet: the retailer has launched GameTrust, its own publishing division. The new wing will initially handle titles from existing partner Insomniac Games (of Ratchet & Clank fame) as well as Frozenbyte (Trine), Ready At Dawn (The Order: 1886) and Tequila Works (Deadlight). As you might guess, this isn't a traditional publishing business. GameStop is taking a hands-off approach to the actual content. Instead, it wants to create "exclusive real estate" online and in physical stores to help people discover indie games that might otherwise get missed.
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.
The move isn't exactly a shocker. 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.