GameStop and Konami to invest in NFTs
Konami and GameStop have announced investments into the NFT (non-fungible tokens) space, as companies push ahead with the controversial digital items.
Driving the news: According to a Wall Street Journal report, GameStop has hired more than 20 people to run a new division dedicated to creating cryptocurrency partnerships and an NFT marketplace.
- The company has also reportedly been reaching out to game developers in the interest of having them create NFTs for that marketplace.
Currently, GameStop is courting would-be creators with a website where they can request to join the eventual marketplace.
- Aspiring creators fill out a survey that includes questions about how applicants describe themselves, from independent artists to "meme lord."
Additionally, Castlevania developer and publisher Konami is auctioning off NFTs based around the series in celebration of its 35th anniversary.
- In a letter to shareholders, president Kimihiko Higashio said that "with the evolution of technologies such as AI, 5G and NFTs (non-fungible tokens), as well as the increasing recognition of esports as a sporting event, we expect the market to be revitalized by inventive new ways to enjoy games."
Sega, meanwhile, is approaching NFTs with caution, noting that the company wants to "try out various experiments," but that "nothing is decided at this point."
- “There have been many [announcements] about this already… but there are users who [have shown] negative reactions at this point."
Catch up quick: NFTs are cryptocurrency tokens that make digital items — which can be anything from a GIF to a virtual piece of property — into assets that, in theory, only one person can own.
- Some critics say NFTs are unethical because their sale can lead to massive energy usage and, in turn, an outsize impact on carbon emissions.
- They’re also prone to scams, with hackers swindling victims out of huge amounts of money.
- Developers like Ubisoft and Square Enix, as well as legendary designers Will Wright and Peter Molyneux, have already embraced NFT efforts.
What’s next: According to WSJ, GameStop’s marketplace is expected to launch before the year’s end.