GameStop lays off staff and fires CFO, continues banking on blockchain

GameStop
(Image credit: GameStop)
Audio player loading…

US videogame retailer GameStop has fired Mike Recupero, its chief financial officer, and begun laying off an unspecified number of staff. In an internal memo leaked to Reddit (opens in new tab), CEO Matt Furlong wrote, "Change will be a constant as we evolve our commerce business and launch new products through our blockchain group."

The company's pivot to blockchain began earlier this year, when GameStop announced it was launching an NFT marketplace and then launched its own crypto wallet. Furlong's memo goes on to say, "These changes will enable us to operate in a profitable manner as we execute against our strategy of pursuing sales growth in our commerce business and launching new products that empower customers within the digital asset and web3 gaming verticals."

The timing for GameStop's shift to a focus on blockchain and "the digital asset and web3 gaming verticals" hasn't been great, however, with cryptocurrency markets collapsing to their lowest levels in years, and other companies racing to distance themselves from it. Meta just dumped its crypto wallet, for instance.

As well as GameStop staff, employees of Game Informer, the magazine acquired by GameStop in 2000, appear to have been laid off. Though no official announcement has been made, Game Informer's staff have tweeted about canceled podcasts (opens in new tab), with video editor and host of the Game Informer Show Alex Stadnik writing (opens in new tab), "GI Show is canceled for the week. I have no fucking words."

According to another Reddit post (opens in new tab) about the layoffs, "nobody let go from the NFT team."

GameStop's only official communication has been the announcement of a new chief financial officer (opens in new tab), with chief accounting officer Diana Saadeh-Jajeh stepping into the role. Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports that GameStop shares have fallen "more than 5% in extended trading" since the news broke. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.