GameStop celebrated the launch of its NFT marketplace on Monday. Its Ethereum-based repository for virtually autographed JPEGs arrived just days after the meme stock giant ruthlessly laid off more employees, and from my short visit to its website, it’s also still a little broken in places.
Nobody seems to quite make sense of GameStop current business strategy, let alone its pivot to crypto. Teased earlier this year, the struggling gaming retailer released a GameStop wallet in May that users could download to trade cryptocurrency and “store NFTs securely.” Since then, cryptocurrencies have fallen and the NFT market has all but collapsed.
A former senior employee, who wished to remain anonymous while looking for a new job, said My box they were skeptical that the company’s crypto team was big enough to launch anything that would have a significant impact on GameStop’s bottom line. They also believed it was primarily to interest investors and Reddit users.
“As reported last week, our leadership team is committed to profitably growing our business and launching new products, including those developed by our blockchain team,” CEO Matt Furlong said, referring to layoff announcement last weektold staff in an email today (a copy of which has been reviewed by My box). “GameStop of the future has a unique opportunity to anticipate and respond to a growing range of customer demands and merging interests across our stores, web properties and the virtual world.”
In this context, I am pleased to announce the launch of our NFT Marketplace: https://nft.gamestop.com. Today’s launch reflects months of hard work by our blockchain group and many people across the organization. It is also the result of our ability to forge new partnerships with artists and creators, as well as with technology partners such as Loopring and Immutable. While we have a lot of work ahead of us, this launch demonstrates how GameStop is transforming as we embrace change and pursue new opportunities.
The launch and accompanying accolades come just four days after the latest round of layoffs at GameStop’s offices. About 160 employees have been cut, according to a current employee and a former employee. Three employees of gaming magazine game informant, which is owned by GameStop, were also affected. GameStop’s offices faced a series of similar layoffs in May, while game informant has effectively seen its workforce cut in half over the past year, Axios reports.
GameStop store workers are also feeling the pain as they try to keep things running while understaffed and underpaid. Meanwhile, GameStop has earned a $1 billion windfall last year on a sale of his inflated meme stockand its revolving door of executives have gone on to garner millions in total compensation.
Maybe that’s what Dankclops #69 NFT is all about. At $7,890, the most expensive NFT on the market is certainly not for store managers earning just $15 an hour, or recently laid-off corporate office staff, some of whom don’t have only got one month’s severance pay. A former employee says My box they haven’t even had two weeks. But sometimes that’s how the NFT breaks down.