GameStop shares gained 22% in extended trading on Thursday after a Wall Street Journal report disclosed that the gaming merchandise retailer plans to create a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. The report, which cited people familiar with the matter, further divulged that GameStop seeks to forge cryptocurrency partnerships to create games and products for the NFT marketplace.
Reportedly, the Grapevine, Texas-based company has hired over 20 people to run the NFT business, which will feature an online hub for buying, selling, and trading NFTs of virtual videogame goods such as avatar outfits and weapons.
At the time of writing, the GameStop stock (GME) is changing hands at $131.03. This price represents a 1.28% gain in the day. By tapping into the booming NFT market, GameStop could get a much-needed change of pace that frees it from its trend of registering massive losses despite the resilience of its stock.
GameStop currently relies on brick-and-mortar sales of new and used physical video games. However, Ryan Cohen, the company’s newly-elected Board Chairman, is keen on steering the company in a technology direction.
Notably, GameStop’s decision to embrace NFTs is not new. The company rolled out a bare-bone website dubbed GameStop NFT in May 2021.
The website invited content creators to take part in shaping the NFT platform, noting,
“We welcome exceptional engineers (solidity, react, python), designers, gamers, marketers, and community leaders. If you want to join our team, send your profile or something you’ve built to: [email protected]”
Forging strategic partnerships
Per the sources, GameStop is asking select game developers and publishers to list NFTs on its marketplace when it launches later this year. Specifically, the firm is inching closer to inking two strategic partnerships with two crypto firms that would share their technology and co-invest in games, as well as other NFT-related initiatives.
Loopring, a layer-2 protocol rumoured to be one of the companies working with GameStop, also saw its native token surge. At the time of writing, Loopring (LRC), the 61st-largest crypto by market capitalization, is up 6.66% over the past 24 hours to change hands at $1.81.
While integrating NFTs into its business might help turn GameStop’s luck around, it is worth noting that the plan is risky. Experts believe that the NFT space is a massive bubble that will inevitably burst, leaving investors devastated.