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GameStop Opens Ethereum NFT Marketplace Following Company-Wide Layoffs

The long-promised Ethereum NFT platform is live just days after the video game retailer laid off another round of employees.

In brief

  • GameStop has launched its Ethereum-based NFT marketplace.
  • It currently has artwork NFTs, but will add video game items in the future.

Video game retailer GameStop’s long-awaited Ethereum NFT marketplace is finally live, the company announced today. GameStop had first teased plans for an NFT platform more than a year ago, in May 2021.

Currently, the marketplace plays host to an array of artwork projects that run on the Ethereum mainnet as well as Loopring, a layer-2 scaling solution. GameStop previously announced a partnership to use the Immutable X layer-2 scaling network, but the marketplace notes that Immutable X support is “coming soon.”

While the focus right now is primarily on artwork, GameStop aims to be a major player in the NFT gaming space, in which NFTs are interactive items used within video games. GameStop and Immutable X launched a $100 million token grant fund to bring game developers onto the marketplace. A press release notes that gaming NFTs will be added in the future.

An NFT is a blockchain token that works like a deed of ownership to an item, and they’re often used for digital goods like artwork, profile pictures, and other collectibles. In video games, NFTs can represent unique avatars, weapon designs, virtual land plots, and more.

GameStop previously said its planned marketplace launch would come by the end of fiscal Q2 2022, and today's launch meets that late July target. It comes following a busy week for the long-running retailer.

On July 6, GameStop announced a four-for-one stock split that will see shareholders receive three additional shares as a dividend after the close of trading on July 21. The following day, GameStop terminated Chief Financial Officer Michael Recupero and laid off an unconfirmed number of employees across the company.

GameStop did not reply to a request for comment last week regarding the layoffs, but a GamesIndustry report suggested that the staff reductions applied to both GameStop’s corporate division and also its Game Informer video game magazine and website. The company had laid off more than 100 employees in May, as well, according to industry publication Kotaku.

This article has been updated to note that the NFT marketplace launched on schedule based on the company's fiscal calendar.

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