GameStop has created a new unit for building an NFT platform and hired more than 20 people thus far to run it, according to a report today from The Wall Street Journal.
The platform will allow customers to buy, sell and trade NFTs of video game items, such as clothes and weapons for player avatars. The company had previously placed ads looking for developers and others for the team.
GameStop also plans to establish cryptocurrency partnerships to create games and items for the marketplace, the source said.
“GameStop is in a very unique position because a lot of these NFT projects are starting to add gaming utility behind the NFTs themselves,” said Adam Hollander, an NFT investor, and creator of the “Hungry Wolves” NFT collection. “GameStop is well-positioned, in my opinion, to be able to capitalize on that they have hundreds of millions of people that play video games that least recognize GameStop as a credible brand.”
An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a unique digital item, including images, video files, video game items, and more. The industry expanded dramatically over the course of 2021, generating more than $22 billion worth of trading volume according to a mid-December estimate by analytics resource, DappRadar.
GameStop (GME) stock duly surged 31% in after-hours trading to reach $170, its highest price in nearly a month.
Prominent video game publishers such as Ubisoft have begun incorporating NFTs—blockchain-based deeds of ownership for digital items—into their titles. In-game NFTs open up the possibility of games becoming interoperable and players profiting from trading rare items.
Recent news gives GME stock another boost as it hops aboard a multi-billion dollar trend. Reddit-based day traders promoted GME as a meme stock last January, rallying the price from a middling $20 per share to $483 at one point. It's since come down from those highs but has used the increased interest and capital to innovate.
Ubisoft's NFT launch was threatened by a revolt from players, many of whom argue that blockchain technology threatens the environment (though not all chains are energy-intensive) or bear hard feelings from supply chain issues that cost the price of graphics cards—also used for crypto mining—to rise exponentially.
GameStop clearly thinks it's a great opportunity as the company looks to reverse several years of losses.
♻️Disclaimer: Some members of our team, including editors of this article, have personally invested in a number of cryptocurrency, NFTs, and DAOs. We also earn commissions on some of the products we recommend.