What happened 

The day started hot for video game retailer GameStop (NYSE:GME) after the company announced an NFT marketplace. Shares jumped 22.3% at the start of trading but started losing that bounce quickly and were trading 8% higher at 10:40 a.m. ET. 

So what 

The Wall Street Journal reported after the market closed on Thursday that GameStop is building a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace and partnerships in the cryptocurrency business. About two dozen people have already been hired for the project, and management thinks it can translate the brand to a valuable position in the market.

Benjamin Franklin wearing NFT sunglasses.

Image source: Getty Images.

NFTs allow owners to have digital proof of ownership of a digital good like an avatar or a weapon in a game. And NFT marketplaces will be a place to buy and sell NFTs. GameStop's thinking here is that it has a big enough brand to attract users to its NFT marketplace over others, which will also attract game developers. 

Now what 

This announcement and a new website from GameStop that invites creators to the platform indicate that the company sees a big future in NFTs. And given the fact that OpenSea, Ethereum's (CRYPTO:ETH) largest NFT marketplace, was recently valued at $13.3 billion, it's easy to see why.

What's not clear is whether a big brand like this can break into the world of crypto and NFTs. It's a positive move, but translating a video game retail business to NFTs is a big move. The company may be successful, but there are a lot of smaller players and incumbents eyeing the same space, so there's no guarantee GameStop will take significant market share in NFT gaming, despite today's hype. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.