GameStop celebrated the launch of its NFT marketplace on Monday. Its Ethereum-based repository for virtually signed JPEGs came just days after the meme stock giant recklessly laid off more employees, and based on my brief tour of its site, it is still broken in places.
Nobody can really understand GameStops current business strategy, least of all its linchpin to crypto. Teased earlier this year, the struggling gaming retailer released a GameStop wallet in May that users could download to exchange cryptocurrencies and “securely store NFTs.” Since then, cryptocurrencies and the NFT market have plummeted almost collapsed.
An elderly former employee who wished to remain anonymous while looking for a new job recounted kotaku They were skeptical that the company’s crypto team was large enough to launch anything that would have a significant impact on GameStop’s bottom line. They also believed that it was mainly aimed at just exciting investors and people on Reddit.
“As noted last week, our leadership team is committed to growing our trading business profitably and bringing new products to market, including those developed by our blockchain team,” said CEO Matt Furlong last week’s layoff announcementinformed employees in an email today (a copy of which has been verified by kotaku). “GameStop of the future has a unique opportunity to anticipate and meet a growing range of customer needs and to merge interest across our stores, web properties and the virtual world.”
With this in mind, 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 individuals across the organization. It’s also the result of our ability to forge new partnerships with artists and creators, as well as technology partners like Loopring and Immutable. While we still have a lot of work to do, this launch shows the extent to which GameStop is changing as we embrace change and pursue new opportunities.
The launch and the accolades that came with it come just four days after the latest round of layoffs at GameStop’s corporate offices. According to a current and a former employee, around 160 jobs were cut. Three employees at the gaming magazine game informant, owned by GameStop, were also affected. GameStop’s corporate offices faced a similar round of layoffs in May game informant has effectively halved its workforce in the last year, axios reports.
GameStop’s store staff feel the pain, too, as they try to keep things running while understaffed and underpaid. Meanwhile, GameStop earned a Windfall of $1 billion last year on a sell-off of his bloated meme stocksand its executive revolving door have continued to rake in millions in total awards.
Maybe the Dankclops#69 NFT is designed for just that. At $7,890, the market’s most expensive NFT is certainly not for store managers making barely $15 an hour or recently laid-off employees in corporate offices, some of whom only received a month’s severance pay. A former employee tells kotaku They didn’t even get two weeks. But sometimes the NFT crumbles just like that.