GameStop shuts down NFT marketplace over regulatory worries

GameStop, a well-known retailer of video games and consumer electronics, has revealed plans to halt operations on its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace by Feb. 2.

The company shared the news via a pop-up message on the GameStop NFT Marketplace website, stating it was driven by the persistent regulatory ambiguities surrounding the crypto sector.

“GameStop has decided to wind down our NFT marketplace due to the continuing regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space,” the message read in part.

According to the message, current NFT holders will maintain access to their assets through other NFT platforms. Still, the ability to mint or conduct transactions within the GameStop NFT marketplace will be discontinued.

This decision is the latest sign of a change in strategy for GameStop, as it seeks to distance itself from crypto and NFTs, indicating a shift from riskier investments in the crypto industry.

The company launched the NFT platform in July 2022 to facilitate the buying, selling, and minting of non-fungible tokens, primarily those rooted in gaming themes and associated with GameStop rewards.

Its entry into NFTs and cryptocurrency was initially part of a resurrection plan following a challenging business period culminating in a short-squeeze incident in January 2021, made famous by the movie “Dumb Money.”

At that time, the company hired a 20-member team to oversee the gaming NFT marketplace and partnered with Immutable X. However, several months later, the company made a significant reversal of its crypto strategy.

Despite initial optimism, the NFT market has seen a significant drop, with monthly trading volumes plummeting over 97% from their highest point. 

This decline, coupled with GameStop’s relatively minor role in the overall NFT trading scene, may have presumably influenced the company’s decision to pull back from the sector.

The unexpected shutdown of the NFT marketplace didn’t stun industry insiders. Before this latest announcement, GameStop discontinued its crypto wallet in August 2023 and, as of Nov. 1, ceased all support for it. 

The crypto wallet’s discontinuation occurred on the heels of the dismissal of GameStop’s CEO, Matt Furlong, who had been at the helm during the wallet and marketplace launches.

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