GameStop’s NFT Marketplace Now on Public Beta Despite Crypto Winter
Despite facing that chilling “crypto winter,” retailer GameStop has moved ahead with the launch of its marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
GameStop has launched what it calls a “public beta” of its platform to buy, sell, and create NFTs.
On GameStop’s NFT marketplace, over 200 collections are available for perusal with about 53,000 NFTs listed. Tis includes the usual cat and monkey-themed collections. To manage digital assets, users can connect to the newly-launched GameStop Wallet, aside from other options, such as WalletConnect and MetaMask. NFT creators, however, must need to apply before placing their NFTs on the platform.
GameStop Looking At Expanding Functionality of NFT Marketplace
GameStop said in a press announcement that it is looking at expanding functionality into such areas as Web3 gaming.. On the NFT marketplace homepage, GameStop is already teasing that support for Immutable X, a platform built on Ethereum that’s used by some NFT games, is coming soon. GameStop and Immutable X have also launched a $100 million grant program.
This is the latest push by the videogame retailer, now chaired by Chewy founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen, to invest in a digital future. GameStop is undergoing a turnaround following several years of financial struggles, burdened in part by its massive real estate footprint and the videogame industry’s rapid shift online. GameStop first announced in February that it was set to launch its own NFT marketplace.
In recent weeks, NFTs have plunged amid a bigger nosedive in crypto overall. Crypto firms, such as Coinbase, BlockFi, and Crypto.com laid off staff in an attempt to weather this crypto winter, but GameStop instead is surging forward with its NFT marketplace plans, even with its own troubles.
GameStop is launching its NFT market aa few days after laying off staff and firing its CFO, and remain steadfast in positioning crypto as an important part of the company’s future.
Cohen, whose investment GameStop in 2020 sparked a so-called meme frenzy, was chosen last year to lead those turnaround efforts. He brought in a fresh slate of corporate leaders, including current Chief Executive Officer Matt Furlong, formerly of Amazon.
GameStop Digital Shift to Woo Investors
The company seeks to win over investors who have written off GameStop off as a legacy retailer with too many stores in outmoded shopping malls. According to an annual filing on January 29, GameStop operated a total of 4,573 stores, including 3,018 in the United States. In addition to its namesake business, GameStop also owns the EB Games and Micromania brands.
Now the company is tapping into uncertain markets like NFTs for growth. The unique digital assets have drawn both enthusiasm and skepticism. Some retail industry-watchers expect them to become a hot holiday gift. According to a Salesforce study quoted by CNBC, around half a million NFTs are expected to be purchased from retailers between November and December, translating to a total market value of $54 million.
Others, however, may see the NFT marketplace as burgeoning a little too late. Sales of digital artwork virtual and avatars could be cooling off from their pandemic-fueled highs. GameStop must also compete with other established NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea.