GameStop is getting into the NFT sector by creating a marketplace for the non-fungible tokens.
The Wall Street Journal originally broke the news but since then, many sources familiar with the matter have spoken to other outlets. According to a source speaking with CNBC, GameStop’s plan is to establish cryptocurrency partnerships to “create games and items for the marketplace.” This marketplace, which is currently accepting requests to become a creator, will focus on virtual gaming items such as cosmetics and weapons.
It seems the company has been hiring folks with blockchain and crypto backgrounds for the last few months, and there are currently over two dozen staffers on the team.
When news of the move into the sector hit, stock in the company rose by 20%.
For those unfamiliar with NFTs, they are non-interchangeable units of data that can be used to represent easily reproducible items such as audio, memes, photos, and other types of digital files. The tech provides digital creators proof of ownership when stored using a blockchain which is like a digital ledger. It works in a similar fashion to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the difference is that each NFT may represent a different asset along with a different value.
The largest marketplace in the growing space is OpenSea which is currently valued at $13.3 billion.
Recently, Ubisoft announced its own NFT platform called Quartz, and the first game to utilize it will be Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The new platform will allow users to acquire NFTs called Digits which will be released as part of limited Editions, each composed of a fixed number of cosmetic items.
Fable mastermind Peter Molyneux is also getting in on the trend. Back in December, Molyneux announced his company 22 Cans’ next game, Legacy, will utilize the blockchain and have players buying NFTs in a business sim game environment.
Square Enix has expressed interest in NFTs, while others such as Microsoft and Valve don’t seem too keen on the emerging technology.