GameStop eyes partnerships, investments with crypto companies to boost NFT platform plan

A Thursday report from the Wall Street Journal offered new details on the nascent non-fungible token (NFT) platform being pursued by the publicly traded gaming retailer GameStop.

Last May, GameStop teased its NFT plans, declaring its intention to hire staff for the effort. According to the Journal, citing sources with knowledge of the process, GameStop has hired "more than 20" and aims to strike deals with cryptocurrency industry startups to support the effort.

As previously reported, signs that time indicated that GameStop was looking to Ethereum as a potential platform for technology applications. Indeed, today Ethereum is the largest network for NFTs, and its advertisement identified the Ethereum-centric Solidity language as a desired skill among would-be engineers.

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Per the Journal, GameStop "is close to signing partnerships with two crypto companies to share technology and co-invest in the development of games that use blockchain and NFT technology, as well as other NFT-related projects." 

"The retailer expects to enter into similar agreements with a dozen or more crypto companies and invest tens of millions of dollars in them this year," the report continued.

The Journal's report framed the GameStop NFT initiative as one aimed at boosting its overall financial performance, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on its physical storefronts. Even still, GameStop was one of a number of so-called meme stocks that surged in January 2021. 

At press time, the price of GameStop's stock is up nearly 20 percent in after-hours trading, appearing to have spiked sharply on the Journal's report.