GameStop is reportedly developing a marketplace for NFTs of in-game items

The company is said to plan to invest millions in blockchain technologies in the near future.

Andrew Kelly / reuters

Following Ubisoft and Square Enix, GameStop is apparently the latest player in the video game industry that sees NFTs as a way to boost its profitability. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company has hired nearly two dozen people as part of a newly formed cryptocurrency division. The unit is reportedly building an online marketplace for buying, selling and trading NFTs of in-game items like cosmetics. The hub could launch as soon as later this year. Additionally, the division is reportedly close to partnering with two companies to co-invest in games that make use of blockchain and NFT technologies. GameStop is said ot plan to partner with a dozen companies in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

News of the development sent the value of GameStop’s stock surging to $159.77, up from $131.01, in aftermarket trading. According to The Journal, GameStop executives see NFTs as a way for the company to return to profitability, but it’s not clear if the nascent technology has a place in video games.

Many of the recent attempts by some developers and publishers to include digital tokens in their titles have been greeted by outright hostility. Ubisoft, for example, became a magnet for criticism when it announced its Quartz NFT platform. It also seems the negative attention was not worth it for Ubisoft, with a recent Eurogamer report claiming the company had only sold 18 NFTs as of December 21st. But for all the backlash, Ubisoft and others appear unfazed. In an employee Q&A, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot reportedly linked the initial backlash to NFTs to earlier outrage over trends like microtransactions and loot boxes. It seems the implication here was that people would eventually come to accept the technology.

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