GameStop launches NFT marketplace days after laying off workers

The struggling retailer is betting big on blockchain.

Promo image of GameStop's NFT marketplace depicting an astronaut

Image via GameStop

Earlier this year, GameStop stated it would embrace cryptocurrency and NFTs, both of which have proven to be rather popular with executives at game companies, but not so much with other game industry employees. Today, GameStop revealed that its NFT marketplace is now open for business in beta — less than a week after it announced a round of layoffs.

According to GameStop, the marketplace will allow people to buy, sell, and trade NFTs, with more features set to arrive in the future. “Over time, the marketplace will expand functionality to encompass additional categories such as Web3 gaming, more creators and other Ethereum environments,” the company said.

Based on a brief look through the newly-opened NFT marketplace, it seems that the available NFTs can range from a couple of dollars to several thousand. One of the listed NFTs, “Tripset #8,” is going for nearly $2,000 at the time of writing. There have also been reports of frequent error messages during the marketplace’s launch.

The launch of this marketplace is GameStop’s latest step in its bet on blockchain, which the company seems to think will be a profitable one. Last week — while announcing the aforementioned round of layoffs — GameStop CEO Matt Furlong stated that the company was in the process of delving deeper into blockchain technology, and also that the staff reductions would partially allow the company to “operate in a profitable manner.”

The perceived value of NFTs and cryptocurrency are both greatly subject to speculation, which could possibly cast doubt on the soundness behind GameStop’s latest endeavor. Just last month, the NFT market hit a 12-month low, while the crypto market is also dealing with a pretty harsh crash at the moment.

The gaming retailer has fallen on pretty hard times over the past few years. In its 2021 fiscal year, the company posted a net loss of over $380 million.