Pedestrians pass a GameStop store on 14th Street at Union Square, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in the Manhattan borough of New York.
John Minchillo | AP
GameStop is adding NFT trading cards for the virtual game Gods Unchained as a perk for its loyalty program members as the legacy retailer works to deepen its reach into the crypto-centered web.
The partnership marks GameStop’s latest venture with cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, which are unique digital assets, as the struggling retailer works to transform its business. In July, the company launched an NFT marketplace. In September, it announced a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
GameStop’s pivot into the digital world is central to the transformation project under new CEO Matt Furlong and board chair Ryan Cohen, founder of Chewy and former activist investor at Bed Bath & Beyond. Cohen has been a muse for many meme stock investors, who brought GameStop shares from a few dollars to a peak of more than $80 in early 2021.
GameStop is still reporting widening losses, but Furlong has doubled down on the pivot, investing more in digital ventures.
Gods Unchained is a digital trading card game built on the ethereum blockchain that allows players to own, trade and sell their in-game assets. It was created by Chris Clay, who previously directed the digital iteration of Magic: The Gathering. According to the game’s website, players spent $74 billion on in-game purchases in 2020.
The Gods Unchained partnership links up to GameStop’s other ventures in the crypto and NFT space. With the NFT trading cards, players can buy the game’s currency, $GODS, on the FTX platform, purchase additional trading cards on the GameStop NFT marketplace and hold the assets in their GameStop wallet.
Members of GameStop’s loyalty “PowerUp Rewards Pro” program pay $14.99 a year for perks such as monthly gift cards, cash back rewards and exclusive releases. Those who are existing members as of Sept, 27 will get a code on that date that they can redeem for the NFT trading cards.