Gamestop has recently announced with Insomniac Games its plan to release Song of the Deep, a metroidvania action-adventure game following Merryn, a 12 year girl who builds a small submarine as she begins her search to find her missing father. Besides the fact that Song of the Deep is a visually beautiful, story-rich game made by the creators of Spyro and Ratchet & Clank, this game may turn heads for reasons other than excellent game-play and a vibrant indie art style. Song of the Deep will be the first game to ever be published by the gaming and consumer electronics chain Gamestop.
The "non-traditional developer-publisher relationship" between Insomniac and Gamestop might open a new chapter for the video game retailer as they try to survive in an age where digital downloads and subscription services have become the mainstream consumption medium for both casual and hardcore gamers. Gamestop's Mark Stanley explained how the deal with Insomniac to publish Song of the Deep came to be, "We have 62 million customers coming to our doors every year. How do we give more and more content and more exclusives and different kinds of games in our store, beyond just the traditional AAA, etc? We've worked for many years with publishers on exclusives in our stores, etc. This is a different way to bring added value to those customers. We think it's a very good balance to maintain."
"Today, people want more from their games" says Ted Price, founder of Insomniac Games; when Price and his team pondered how they could give more to gamers they asked "how do we approach the IP in a non-traditional way"? By teaming up with Gamestop and using their brick-and-mortar franchises, Insomniac is looking to have their small, indie like game reach gamers through a multi-medium approach.
According to IGN, "GameStop locations will sell tie-in toys, PopVinyls and other Song of the Deep merchandise. Additionally, Insomniac partnered with Sterling Publishing, whose parent company is Barnes & Noble, to create a chapter book that will be coming out at the same time as Song of the Deep and be targeted at children ages 8 to 12. The book will follow the story of Merryn's journey and elaborate on some of the game's to serve as a compliment to the title."
It's exciting to see the possibility of new life being breathed into Gamestop, a company which many were afraid might follow the same cruel fate as Blockbuster as the digital downloads and streaming quickly have become the preference of gamers. "Once we get this project to market, we'll look back and see should we keep doing this, what could we be doing differently," Stanley continued. "Maybe there will be more opportunities in the future."
For more gaming news and information, be sure to stay tuned to Corner 31.