U.S. video game and consumer electronics firm GameStop will launch a new division dedicated to non-fungible tokens and crypto partnerships.
The Wall Street Journal confirmed the development in an article on Jan. 6 stating that the company is venturing into these “much-hyped areas” in an effort to turn around its core video game business.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report added that GameStop is developing an online hub for video game NFT trading. This is likely to include items such as outfits and weapons for use in various games. The firm has hired more than 20 people to run the unit, it added.
Several game developers and publishers have been contacted by the company to list NFTs on the new marketplace when it launches later this year though no date was specified.
In early September, CryptoPotato reported that GameStop was rumored to be working on an Ethereum-based NFT platform. There was also speculation regarding a tie-up with layer 2 decentralized exchange – Loopring – but nothing has been confirmed yet.
GameStop is also seeking crypto partnerships and has signed deals with two firms for technology sharing and investment into the development of blockchain and NFT games. The unnamed sources said the firm is expecting to partner with more than a dozen similar crypto firms this year and invest “tens of millions of dollars” in them.
The Texas-based company has been increasing efforts to turn its business around following years of losses, it added. During an earnings call with analysts last month, company CEO Matt Furlong said, “We believe our emphasis on the long term is positioning us to build what will ultimately become a much larger business.”
GameStop was also at the epicenter of the “meme stock” trading frenzy last year, in which retail investors hyped its stock on a Reddit group.
GameStop Stock Surge
GameStop’s shares have surged on the news, cranking almost 30% in after-hours trading, according to MarketWatch.
The massive move sent GME soaring from a little over $130 on Thursday to $174 before the stock prices retreated to current levels at $160.
GameStop shares have been on a downward slide since late November, when they peaked at around $250. GME hit an all-time high of just below $350 during the trading frenzy in late January.