It has been a rough several weeks for the cryptocurrency and NFT spaces, and many wonder if both markets could recover. Still, despite the seemingly wide-scale “crypto winter,” retail electronics company GameStop is forging ahead with the launch of the GameStop NFT marketplace.
The NFT marketplace is GameStop’s latest push in its quest to invest in a digital future. Incidentally, Chewy founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen now chairs the videogame retailer.
When Cohen invested in the company in 2020, many were optimistic that GameStop could start recovering from years of financial struggles, mainly due to its large real estate footprint and the videogame industry’s sudden online shift. Cohen had big shoes to fill, as he was tapped to lead the company’s turnaround efforts.
When Cohen came in, he brought with him a clean slate of corporate leaders who are somehow helping turn things around, especially with GameStop’s latest endeavor. Along with Cohen came current Chief Executive Office Matt Furlong, who was with Amazon. Another former Amazon executive, Mike Recupero, was hired as GameStop’s Chief Financial Officer about a year ago.
However, just last week, Recupero was fired along with the announcement of several layoffs across various departments. It is speculated that Cohen pushed out Recupero, who, according to a source, was “fired because he was not the right culture fit” and was “too hands-off.”
The GameStop NFT Marketplace at a Glance
The long-awaited launch of the GameStop NFT marketplace was announced on Monday, signaling the company’s bid to reinvent its business and take advantage of consumers’ adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
The marketplace now operates under what GameStop calls a “public beta” capacity. Hence, users can visit the GameStop NFT marketplace anytime to buy, sell, and create NFTs. Over time, though, the marketplace may expand and offer other features like Web3 gaming.
The GameStop NFT marketplace has more than 200 collections for buyers, but there are also over 53,000 NFTs listed there that users can choose from. Users of the newly-launched GameStop Wallet can connect theirs to manage their digital assets better, although WalletConnect and MetaMask users can also connect theirs.
Moreover, GameStop has teased that Immutable X, a platform built on Ethereum used by some NFT games, may be coming to the GameStop NFT marketplace soon. GameStop and Immutable X have also collaborated to launch a $100 million grant program.
GameStop Is Moving Forward
GameStop first announced its plans to open an NFT marketplace in February. Hence, some are skeptical about the launch of the GameStop NFT marketplace, considering that sales of NFTs have dropped amidst a more massive overall downturn in cryptocurrency over the past several weeks.
Some big companies associated with cryptocurrencies like Coinbase, BlockFi, and Crypt.com have to lay off key personnel in their efforts to weather the storm. Still, GameStop is moving forward with its plans, its own struggles put aside.
In the three months ending on April 30, GameStop has reported a net loss of $157.9 million on revenue of $1.38 billion. A year earlier, the company posted a net loss of $66 million on $1.27 billion in revenue.
Moreover, since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company hasn’t yet provided a financial outlook. In March, Furlong mentioned that GameStop is investing in pushing customer loyalty and establishing its brand, which has weighed on profitability.
It remains to be seen if the GameStop NFT marketplace may be what the doctor ordered for the company to recoup from its struggles.
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