It’s not only game companies like Square Enix and Ubisoft who are getting into NFTs. Game retailer GameStop is reportedly doing so, too. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Texas-based company is launching its own crypto division, with plans to create an online NFT marketplace and to enter into cryptocurrency collaborations.
Kotaku contacted GameStop for comment, but did not hear back prior to publication.
The report says GameStop has brought on twenty new hires to develop the new online marketplace, where people can buy, sell, and trade NFTs and virtual in-game items. Sources tell the WSJ that the marketplace is set to launch in late 2022, and that game companies are being asked to offer their NFTs through this new online hub. This new marketplace, it seems, would compete with the likes of OpenSea, the NFT marketplace that now has a $13.3 billion valuation.
Not all those selling games are as keen to embrace the crypto and NFT trend. For example, Value’s Steam platform has already banned games that feature cryptocurrency and NFTs.
WSJ adds that GameStop is also getting ready to ink partnerships with two cryptocurrency companies. The deals would also better position the game retailer to invest in games with crypto features. Sources say that this year alone, GameStop is looking to enter about a dozen or more partnerships and make investments for tens of millions of dollars.
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GameStop’s business model has been hit hard by the rise of digital downloads. Revenue is down and shops are shuttering. But the stock market appeared to like the idea that GameStop was going into the crypto business. Reuters reports that its shares increased on Thursday by 27 percent. The stock, as CNBC notes, is still down by 59 percent from its January 2021 peak, which GameStop suddenly found itself turned into a “meme stock” fiasco, which resulted in a Justice Department probe.