GameStop pairs with Ethereum-based crypto platform for NFT marketplace

3 Feb 2022

Image: © Jillian Cain/Stock.adobe.com

GameStop has been hinting for a few months now that it is planning to enter the NFT space. Its marketplace will be built on Ethereum-based Immutable X.

GameStop has released more details about its plans to launch its own non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. The US video game company is co-creating a fund of “up to $100m” for game developers who use it.

The marketplace will be built on the Ethereum-based Immutable X platform. Immutable will join GameStop as co-creator of the fund, which will be given as grants to developers in IMX tokens. Australian company Immutable is also the developer behind NFT trading card game, Gods Unchained.

Future Human

The Sydney-based company’s co-founder Robbie Ferguson said its team was “excited to be working with GameStop and leading gaming publishers to support genuine power to players”.

“Gaming is now bigger than music and movies combined — but the time and value that gamers invest cannot be turned into real economic value. GameStop, in partnership with Immutable, has the potential to cement itself as the ultimate destination for the next paradigm of gaming; true in-game economies that enable permissionless ownership of in-game items and value players for their time.”

As previous reports from January suggested, the marketplace will launch later in the year. GameStop’s CEO Matt Furlong had previously made remarks hinting at GameStop’s favourable stance on NFTs at an earnings call in December 2021. He said the company’s “emphasis on the long term” would position it “to build what will ultimately become a much larger business”.

That news led to a 27pc boost in GameStop shares, a welcome development for the company. Its competitor Ubisoft recently launched an NFT platform for in-game items. It also plans to create blockchain games.

However, not all gaming companies are as keen on NFTs as GameStop. Steam banned them from its platform and EA’s CEO rowed back on his earlier enthusiasm for all things blockchain, citing uncertainty. He made the comments at EA’s most recent funding call, which yielded the most positive results in the company’s history.

EA chief Andrew Wilson said that while he believed “collectability” would continue to be an important part of the games industry, whether that would be applicable to the NFT and blockchain space “remains to be seen.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com