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GameStop has announced that it will be closing its NFT marketplace.
The video game retailer announced in early 2022 that it planned to launch a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – this was then launched in July 2022.
However, Decrypt reports that the marketplace’s website now shows users a message telling them it will be closing down next month.
“GameStop has decided to wind down our NFT marketplace due to the continuing regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space,” the message reads.
“Effective as of February 2, 2024, customers will no longer be able to buy, sell or create NFTs.
“Your NFTs are on the blockchain and will remain accessible and saleable through other platforms.”
The closure is the latest step in GameStop’s attempt to move away from the crypto space, having previously committed to it. The company ended support for its own crypto wallet in November 2023, again citing the “regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space” as the reason for this.
NFTs are unique non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain (a form of digital ledger), which effectively allow users to own, buy and sell digital goods such as in-game items or artwork.
Ever since their growth in popularity they have continually attracted significant criticism for numerous reasons, from the format’s often high carbon footprint to what many perceive to be cynical implementation.
Despite frequent backlash, a number of video game companies have shown interest in NFT technology, be that releasing NFTs that tie in with their IP or – in the case of Square Enix’s Symbiogenesis – incorporating NFT support in actual games.
The NFT boom has nevertheless appeared to have been quelled significantly – in September 2023 research suggested that around 95% of NFT collections now had a market value of zero.