Last year, throughout the earlier months of 2021, GameStop experienced an enormous boost in stock value. Driven primarily by a wildfire social media trend, GameStop’s shares soared upwards by more than 1,700% in a matter of days. It was a bizarre situation that pumped value into the company, North America’s leading video games retailer. Now, stock prices have surged again following rumours that the GameStop NFT project may include the powerhouse abilities of Microsoft in the near future.
Within the last week, news has been pouring out of the GameStop camp regarding the organisation’s push into the metaverse. At the start of February 2022, it was revealed that GameStop would launch an all-inclusive NFT marketplace on Immutable X, the ‘first Layer 2’ for NFTs on the blockchain. Currently, rumours that are circulating suggest that Microsoft may be partnering to take advantage of the GameStop NFT push – and this has once again driven up GameStop’s value in the market.
What does this mean for the future of the NFT world?
GameStop Won’t Stop
While the COVID-19 pandemic hit GameStop hard, the organisation appears to have come out on top. Following a string of store closures, the ‘GameStop Short Squeeze’ took over, with stock prices rising at a rapid and overwhelming rate. Since then, normalcy has returned, and GameStop is seeking new avenues of revenue, primarily searching for opportunities in the crypto gaming space.
With the rise of play-to-earn games and the growing popularity of NFTs, many technology firms are seeking ways to break into the verticals. At the start of February 2022, GameStop announced a groundbreaking partnership with blockchain firm, Immutable X. In a statement issued by the President of Immutable X, it was revealed that:
… what we’re doing for GameStop is, we are the back end of their marketplace, which means that we’ll be running all of their trades on top of our software. We’ll be creating their NFTs, and we will be helping to onboard hundreds or thousands of game studios. They’ll be using our $100 million joint fund to come and build on this technology platform. We obviously work with lots of marketplaces, but GameStop is going to be a major entrant to this space.
As there is a huge financial backing behind the GameStop NFT marketplace/project, the firm has high hopes that many smaller developers will be eager to come on board. Recently, gamers have expressed concerns regarding the integration of NFTs with mainstream video games, but Immutable X is seeking to tackle these worries. For instance, one of the driving concerns is the environmental damage caused by the blockchain’s massive energy consumption.
Should Immutable X succeed at its mission, this impact will be mitigated, providing some relief to those concerned about the environment.
Microsoft May Surface
On the 8th of February, 2022, GameStop’s stock value surged following a circulating rumour that Microsoft would also get involved with this project.
It’s important to state that these rumours are very loose at the moment, but they’re already having a tangible impact on the market. At the moment, industry experts are trying to determine how Microsoft would fit into this partnership, especially considering the recent acquisitions of the likes of Activision Blizzard. If we take one example from Reddit, it becomes clear where Microsoft may fit into the puzzle.
With the ability to freely mint and trade NFTs on Immutable X’s platform, it’s a no brainer. GameStop could launch Hearthstone (Activision Blizzard) on their brand new Web3 platform by simply making an NFT for every card and then distributing them according to users’ existing card collections. It’s about as easy as it would get.
This is a rapidly developing space, and it’ll be interesting to see where it leads in the very near future.