BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — GameStop is diving into the video game publishing business.
The retailer best known for selling games announced plans Monday to launch a new division called GameTrust that will help distribute and market them.
GameTrust will initially publish games from a lineup of developers that includes the creators of the "Trine," ''Deadlight" and "Ratchet & Clank" series.
Mark Stanely, vice president of internal development at GameStop, said that unlike a traditional video game publisher relationship with a game creator, GameTrust's developers will retain creative control over their work.
"Clearly, from the pedigree of these first four partners that we've signed on, they're not going to let a bad game go out the door," said Stanely in an interview.
GameTrust's developers are Helsinki, Finland-based "Trine" creator Frozenbyte; Irvine, Calif.-based "God of War: Chains of Olympus" developer Ready at Dawn Studios; Madrid, Spain-based "Deadlight" studio Tequila Works; and "Ratchet & Clank" creator Insomniac Games, which has studios in Burbank, Calif., and Durham, N.C.
GameStop announced in January it was publishing "Song of the Deep," a side-scrolling adventure from Insomniac Games about a young girl who goes searching underwater for her lost-at-sea fisherman father.
The Grapevine, Texas-based company operates more than 6,900 stores in 14 countries and owns the browser-based game site Kongregate.com.
The new venture means that GameStop will be creating content competing against other games on its store shelves. Stanley noted that GameTrust will operate separately from GameStop and isn't looking to take on other publishers.
"This is a largely ignored space," said Stanley. "Honestly, we're not going to be looking at big $15 million-plus franchises right now," he said. "We're looking at smaller games and launching them at times of the year where we stay away from that massive fourth quarter craziness."
"Song of the Deep" is the first game scheduled to be published by GameTrust. It's set for release July 12.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/derrik-j-lang.