GameStop Launches New Publishing Division

GameStop is a major force in the US retail gaming market and quickly became a popular outlet for consumers trading in their old games for newer releases. The pre-owned market allows users on a tight budget to purchase games at lower prices. However, whenever a used title is sold, none of the money goes to the original publisher. This has caused some controversy from major publishers because GameStop actively encourages people to purchase the cheaper, used option. As a result, some publishers have compared the impact of lost sales via pre-owned games to piracy. Saying that, you can’t blame consumers for trying to save money especially in the current economic climate.

Clearly, GameStop’s financial stability relies on second-hand sales so it’s an interesting notion that they’ve now launched a publishing division to help independent developers. The new division entitled, GameTrust has already signed up a number of famous studios including Ready at Dawn (The Order: 1886), Tequila Works (Deadlite, Rime) and Frozenbyte (Trine). Not only that, company revealed that they’re working with Insomniac (Ratchet and Clank) on brand new title called Song of the Deep. Apparently, GameStop is planning to launch between five and ten games each year which showcases the publishing division’s ambitious goals. In an interview with MCV, GameStop’s VP of Internal Development and Diversification, Mark Stanley proclaimed:

“Having been in the publishing part of first-party for many years [he worked for PlayStation in Latin America], there are many pieces in traditional publishing that have prevented many independent developers going down the publishing route. A lot of these included lack of creative control and the inability to make some of the game they always dreamt of making. We are trying to solve a lot of pieces there with GameTrust, and the model covers a lot of things. We can help if a developer needs funding to finish a game, or even kick-off a game.

“We may partner in a full development funding mode, or we may have a development partner who has a game that is almost finished and are just looking for someone that can treat their IP in a great way and bring it to market.”

“Also, every IP that we are working with from these developers are smaller-scale games, it’s an area of games development that is pretty much ignored by traditional publishers… we are talking of games with development budgets of up to $15m. Publishers today really focus on the larger franchises and triple-A, where budgets are $30m and above. We are working in this sweet spot that is largely ignored, but we are treating these IPs as if they are triple-As.

“We are not just going to put a disc on a peg on a shelf, we are going to treat these games as triple-A by expanding the media. As an example, with Song of the Deep we are publishing a book with Barnes and Noble, and we are also looking at potential TV and movie deals. We are also looking at putting all of GameStop assets behind the game – we will be promoting it as if it is a triple-A, if you walk into any GameStop store today, you will see Song of the Deep reservations and pre-order signage is all over the prime front part of the store.”

If you’d like to read more, please remember to visit MCV for the full in-depth interview.

Ready To Enjoy The Division? Collisions Mean You May Have To Wait In Line

When a game releases, it has teething problems. These can be anything from the servers not having enough space to accommodate as many players that want to play the game at the same time, it can even be as simple as a bug that wasn’t found during production leading to the game crashing. Tom Clancy’s The Division has a different kind of problem, meaning that in order to enjoy the game, you may have to queue up.

Typically online games disable collision when you enter a “social area”. Given their focus and the number of players that gather in these areas, being boxed in and stuck by other players isn’t uncommon if the collision is enabled. The Division doesn’t disable this collision, which has resulted in some rather funny situations.

With players only able to receive quests from certain people, the Division has come up with an ingenious way of solving this problem. The solution would appear to just wait in a cue.

This is better than the alternative that some players have come up with. The alternative being that if they stand in a doorway, players are blocked from going in and out of the room.

As shown in the video, when players are inactive your character will perform jumping jacks, leaving you to experience the “jumping jacks nightmare” should a group of players decide that you need to stay put for a while.

The only current solution being that if you keep moving forward you’ll be able to pass through a player, however if people stack up (such as in the video below) you won’t be able to pass through them. It also doesn’t help if you need to stand still to receive your next quest update.

Enjoying the Division? Give us your thoughts on the game below.

iPhone and Android Compatible Windows Smartwatch Rumored to be in Production

Apple, Samsung and other manufacturers to have announced their production of smartwatches may have yet another strong competitor coming at a rapid pace. According to Forbes, Microsoft is attempting to make its way into the wearable market with its own smartwatch gadget and rumours are that it will not be exclusive for Windows-powered handsets.

Microsoft is allegedly attempting to make its smartwatch compatible with both iPhone and Android devices alongside its own Windows Phone operating system. The gadget is said to come with a rich sensor combination,including heart rate monitoring.

The team behind some of its concept is rumoured to be the Microsoft Xbox Kinect division, which makes sense given the gadget’s required functions. Also, compared to other manufacturers, Microsoft plans to implement a continuous heart rate monitor, giving constant feedback on the gathered information.

The smartwatch is said to have a battery life of two days, which is not too bad given the fact that Samsung’s Gear Fit has a similar battery life as well. In terms of design, the smartwatch is rumoured to have the same aspect as the Galaxy Fit and feature a full-color touchscreen, having its size estimated to be around half a stick of gum.

More details about the smartwatch are unclear at the moment, but this bald move might have a big impact for Microsoft, having yet another product which could work on rival platforms.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Softpedia