The stock price of popular video game store chain GameStop (GME) surged roughly 13% in one day amid rumors circulating online regarding a partnership with Microsoft to work on nonfungible token (NFT) gaming.
At the time of writing, GME sits at $115.60 as of market close on Feb. 8 and has also held around that level in after-hours trading according to data from TradingView.
GME started February at around the $100 region and has been pumping this month on the back of GameStop’s partnership with NFT-focused layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution Immutable X to develop its upcoming NFT marketplace. As part of the deal, GameStop is also rolling out a $100 million grant program denominated in IMX tokens for NFT content creators and tech developers.
The latest rumors circulating via channels such as Reddit and Twitter suggest that GameStop may team up with Microsoft to launch NFT integrations into existing games, along with creating new NFT focused games.
Twitter user “P_MackD” shared a photo earlier on Wednesday that contained compiled screenshots of tweets from Immutable X and Microsoft execs cryptically posting the “probably nothing” meme regarding the major partnership with GameStop.
Yorke Rhodes III, in particular, the director of Microsoft’s blockchain department, tagged Xbox, Microsoft and GameStop in his tweet, potentially hinting that the tech giant may have a role to play in the Immutable X and GameStop partnership behind the scenes.
While the exact connection between the three parties is unclear, a Feb. 6 post on the r/Superstonk Reddit community outlined a notable hypothesis of what the partnership could entail.
Commenting on Microsoft’s major $69 billion acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard, bamfcoco1 pointed to the firm’s turn-based player vs player collectible card game Hearthstone as something ripe for NFT integrations via Immutable X and GameStop.
The Redditor argued that Hearthstone’s declining user base from a peak of roughly 23.5 million to 3.5 million was partly due to the hefty costs of card collecting and lack of true ownership over the user’s assets, something which could be solved via NFT integrations:
“With the ability to freely mint and trade NFTs on Immutable X’s platform, it’s a no brainer. GameStop could launch Hearthstone on their brand new Web3 platform by simply making an NFT for every card and then distributing them accordingly to users’ existing card collections. It’s about as easy as it would get.”
It appears that Web3 and NFT-related announcements have a strong impact on the price of GameStops shares. Cointelegraph reported in early January that the price of GME gained a whopping 26% in after-hours trading after the unveiling of the firm’s new NFT division.