The GameStop NFT marketplace is happening, and it could well be the start of gaming NFTs crossing over into the mainstream. The news sent GameStop's share price soaring by 20%.
GameStop plans to create cryptocurrency partnerships that will enable creators to make games and sell items on its NFT marketplace. The new marketplace is likely to launch this year, and is currently taking requests to become a creator. GameStop was seen as a troubled retailer until the meme-stock surge and community support saw its share price 'go to the moon'. It now has the funding and support to try new things.
The company has been hiring blockchain and cryptocurrency staff for the past two months, building up its internal division. It's unclear if GameStop will create its own NFT content, but the future for animators and artists is clear – start learning how to make and sell an NFT.
What's the impact of GameStop's NFT marketplace?
So, what are NFTs? If you're catching up on NFTs, these are non-interchangeable units of data that exist in a blockchain and can used to represent and track art, video, photos, music and more digital files. They can even be attached to real world, physical items to show proof of ownership.
GameStop is not the first company in video games to jump into NFTs. But having such a big retailer back NFTs will likely mean video game publishers will take up the idea too. Ubisoft, the publisher of Assassin's Creed, has already revealed its NFT platform, called Quartz but suffered some fan backlash. The first game to make use of Quartz and its NFTs, called Digits, will be shooter Ghost Recon Breakpoint, where players can earn and trade skins, weapons, and other items.
Square Enix is also invested in looking into creating an NFT platform, the Final Fantasy developer sees blockchain tech and NFTs as a future for video games. Speaking to Creative Bloq, Bored Ape member Jace Kay identified video game NFTs and play-to-earn as a breakout NFT trend in 2022. It looks like GameStop is on the same page.
As NFTs become cheaper to create with new crypto technology (it's unclear which GameStop is adopting) and new blockchains, 2022 could well see video games lead the NFT boom.