“[‘Songs of the Deep’] is not likely the type of game that is going to sell at Walmart or Target, so if [Insomniac] lets GameStop do it as an exclusive, they get some downside protection,” said Eric Handler, senior equity analyst with MKM Partners. “For GameStop, as an exclusive retailer, you’ll bring some incremental traffic in. … Given what’s going on in the industry, it behooves them to take some low investment risks and see what happens.”
The partnership does not give GameStop any creative control over the game, which is expected to release this summer. The title follows a young girl who is trying to find her fisherman father, who had gone missing in the ocean. To do so, she builds a submarine to explore sunken cities and fight undersea enemies.
The publishing arrangement is the latest in GameStop’s ongoing efforts to diversify. Last June, the retailer bought the parent company of online toy retailer ThinkGeek in a $140 million deal. GameStop will likely use that unit to expand the intellectual property rights potential of “Songs of the Deep,” adding toys and collectable items for fans.