GameStop is launching a division that will focus on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency partnerships, according to a Jan. 6 Wall Street Journal report. The US-based video game retailer reportedly already hired 20 people to work in the new division, which intends to create an NFT marketplace for GameStop, and there’s a website up where creators can request to take part in GameStop’s NFT marketplace.
The video game retailer already felt the impact that internet culture can have on business.
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Last January, GameStop saw its stock fly in price after stock traders on Reddit began buying the stock. Shares started 2021 at $18 and then peaked at $483 weeks later. The outrageous volatility led to multiple Congressional hearings and investigations by federal agencies. GameStop stock closed at $131 on Thursday but has since continued to surge in after-hours trading to $172.
An NFT is a blockchain-based technology used to determine ownership of digital assets. Video game companies have started looking into integrating NFTs into games. Ubisoft was the first major game developer to do so in December 2021. However, gamers are wary of new methods of monetizing the games they play, and there are environmental concerns surrounding the technology.
Online video game retailer Steam recently banned video games that use NFTs and cryptocurrency from their platform. GameStop is the first major video game retailer to publicly enter the NFT and cryptocurrency space.
GameStop didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.