GameStop increases 30% after hours on reported NFT plans

GameStop (GME) shares jumped 30% after a few hours after a report that the video game retailer is launching a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a move that was telegraphed last year.

GameStop is also reportedly in the process of partnering with two crypto companies to “share technology and co-invest in the development of games using blockchain and NFT technology, as well as other NFT-related projects.” according to people familiar with the plans who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.

Last year, CEO Matt Furlong gave a teaser about projects involving tokens and non-fungible cryptos.

“We also explored emerging opportunities in blockchain, NFTs, and web 3.0 games,” Furlong said during the December earnings call.

Months ago, Internet sleuths noticed that the company job descriptions which included “NFT” and “Web 3.0”. The video game retailer also has a link on GameStop url soliciting creators for an NFT marketplace.

GameStop has been one of the favorite titles for retail investors over the past year. It was the third most searched ticker in 2021 behind Tesla (TSLA) and AMC (AMC). Shares of AMC, another darling of “memes,” also rose more than 10% outside of regular business hours.

GameStop is undergoing a turnaround plan under the leadership of Chairman Ryan Cohen, co-founder of e-commerce platform Chewy (CHWY).

Cohen, known as “Papa Cohen” to the retail crowd, has been silent about his strategy.

“We’re trying to do something that no one in the retail space has ever done,” Cohen said at the company’s annual meeting in June of last year.

GameStop underwent a C-Suite overhaul over the summer, with Amazon veterans (AMZN) Matt Furlong named CEO and Mike Recupero as CFO.

In December, the company announced that it had opened new offices in Seattle and Boston, describing the locations as “technology hubs with established talent markets.”

Recently, GameStop and other memes favorites have come under pressure, along with other risky assets and growth names, over concerns about the Fed’s rate hikes this year.

Ines is a market reporter covering stocks on the New York Stock Exchange floor. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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