From Zero to Hero: GameStop seeks turnaround with NFTs and Markets
GameStop as a company has had an incredibly spotty history. Those who are old enough to remember ‘the good old days’ know GameStop as an awesome place to buy, sell, and swap games. Circa 2003, GameStop peaked and made millions in profit! Then, things went downhill, and the company mostly made headlines for awful stuff – and when the pandemic hit, things went from bad to horrible, with stories of employees being pressured, forced to stay open during lockdowns, and more.
Naturally, sales declined, and desperate bosses would go and blame employees, writing them up for not selling enough, threatening their jobs, and more. Then came the supergau – GameStop was made a pawn on the stockmarket, and their previously relatively worthless stock shot through the moon, with a 1625% gain in January 2021. People made (and stock markets lost) a lot of money.
GameStop profited as well, and while the physical stores in many places in the US remain predatory environments for some of their employees, the company itself has decided to turn the cash influx into something new – NFTs. It’s no secret that the company has missed the right time to go digital by a few years, which caused their physical store-bound profits to tank during the pandemic. Now, they are looking towards completely new ventures.
GameStop joins the NFT craze
More than 20 people have been hired to the new NFT unit, which will end up building a new online hub where users can buy, sell, and trade NFTs related to video games. This means that things like outfits, weapons and more will be tradable on the platform. The expected launch date for this platform is later in 2022.
The plan is to make partnerships with game creators that can then trade their content on the new platform. In fact, GameStop is already taking requests from would-be creators. Whether the platform will suffer the same issues that the GameStop stores do (insultingly low trade-in prices, that is) or if it will revolutionize the world of NFT gaming as some hope. Indeed, if the platform does well, there could be a pretty big impact on the gaming scene.
To date, the adoption of NFTs in traditional gaming companies has been practically non-existent. However, if a giant like GameStop goes ahead and sets up a successful NFT project, it could well entice companies to also go ahead and create their own crypto gaming projects afterwards.
There are few to no details available on the technical details of the new GameStop NFT project. We don’t know what chain(s) will be supported, or even what sort of functionality and technology will be available. With the release set for later this years, we will no doubt see some updates still before the launch, so it’s only a question of time before we find out more.
Whether this new use of the funds GameStop gathered through their stock market meme saga is a good one remains to be seen – at the very least, it’s a proactive and forward-facing project that could end up helping them stay relevant in a world where gaming is all but online-only these days.