- GameStop’s NFT marketplace is shutting down after 18 months, signaling the company’s exit from the NFT business entirely.
- The decision to end the NFT marketplace is due to ongoing regulatory uncertainty in the crypto space, echoing GameStop’s previous decision to end support for its cryptocurrency wallet.
- Although GameStop’s NFT marketplace is closing, the NFTs minted on the blockchain will remain accessible and can still be bought and sold through other marketplaces.
After being operational for about 18 months, GameStop’s NFT marketplace is officially shutting down. This move marks the company’s exit from the NFT business entirely, as previously GameStop has also ended support for its own cryptocurrency wallet.
GameStop first signaled interest in getting into the NFT business back in May 2021 via a teaser webpage. Around a year later, GameStop’s first foray in the NFT world finally came in the form of a digital wallet designed to safely store cryptocurrency and NFTs on the Ethereum-based network. By July 2022, the retailer’s NFT marketplace had officially gone live for the public, though fast-forward to today, and GameStop’s NFT journey is already nearing its end.
GameStop’s plan to shutter its NFT marketplace was delivered quietly through its website. The company cited “continuing regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space” as the reasoning behind the decision to wind down its NFT marketplace, which, as noted by Decrypt, is the exact same wording that GameStop used when it killed its crypto wallet roughly four months ago. The change will be effective from February 2, 2024, during which users will no longer be able to buy, sell, or create NFTs through GameStop’s marketplace.
However, as the NFTs were minted on the blockchain, they will remain accessible and can be bought or sold through other NFT marketplaces. This has been one of the major selling points of NFTs for a long time, that they are permanent assets which will continue to live on the blockchain, and that platform availability isn’t going to affect them at all. GameStop seems to want to make sure to all its users that this is also the case.
GameStop joined the list of video game companies backing off the NFT world after initially showing enthusiasm towards the idea of non-fungible tokens. In July 2023, Sega announced that it’s canceling its plans to incorporate NFTs and blockchain technology into its games. Despite the trend, some companies are still bullish on the idea of marrying video games with blockchain technology, such as Square Enix, which has made clear several times that it hasn’t forgotten about its NFT related plans.
It is unknown whether the decision to end its NFT division is part of the “extreme frugality” mindset that GameStop’s new CEO expressed last September. Nevertheless, now that GameStop has completely left the NFT space, it can certainly focus on other things that have the potential to make the company profitable.