The $100M Hike: GameStop Launches NFT Marketplace on ImmutableX.

Bob Coiney

February 4, 2022

With the dominance of Bitcoin as a parent name in Blockchain technology, Bitcoin’s market share was over 50% in early 2021 but declined over the summer as NFTs and DeFi applications led to increasing market caps among altcoins. The next blockchain evolution came in the form of Ethereum. Ethereum is also a cryptocurrency that additionally provides a versatile platform that allows developers to implement “smart contracts.” These smart contracts are packets of code that are connected to a digital asset that confirms the asset as individually unique, traceable, and verifiable. 

As the metaverse coalesces, big players in the space are making enormous investments and while there are many business opportunities in the various metaverses for studios of every size, there’s a large and growing number of considerations to be mindful of as they build out their business plans. Companies need to start taking a hard look at what this new market will demand, from how to monetize user experiences safely to the legal and taxation requirements that will spring up, to the minutiae of virtual economics.

Eureka: Here’s one for the Game Addicts

Hello, Game users, here’s the big gig. Never mind, it won’t bug you. GameStop has teamed up with Immutable X to launch a marketplace for nonfungible tokens (NFTs) later this year. The GameStop NFT marketplace, powered by Immutable X, will create significant opportunities for developers to create in-game, carbon-neutral economies in which gamers can buy, sell and trade in-game assets (e.g digital real estate, swords, skins). Immutable and GameStop are also creating an up-to-$100-million fund dedicated to providing grants to game developers and studios to build on Immutable X and the NFT marketplace.

In doing so, it runs the risk of angering hardcore gamers and some game developers who have expressed their displeasure (to put it mildly) on social media that NFTs are either deceptive or a cash grab. It’s not clear how GameStop’s customers will react, as many are hardcore gamers who don’t seem to like NFTs, but many GameStonk investors have embraced radical new theories about ownership.

Gas Up or Gas Out

One of the major reasons why blockchain games and NFTs aren’t consumer-friendly is because they incur big gas fees for transactions. Gas (just like bank transaction charges)  is the fee required to encourage the blockchain to process the transaction. If you have to pay a transaction fee of $50 to $500, then it defeats the purpose of doing a $5 NFT purchase. 

Immutable X will enable game developers to have high transactions rates and zero gas fees, or costs related to computing usage, for trading and minting NFTs in a carbon-neutral environment.

Action PlanThe prevalence of Ethereum gas fees over time has been a little drawback for new project developers or already existing ones to consider its Blockchain. With several promises made in this regard to salvage the situation, it still lingers. However, GameStop claims that up until now, developers have been challenged to create in-game items that players can truly own due to prohibitive gas fees. By building on Immutable X, GameStop is seeking to tap into Ethereum’s dominant and open ecosystem of NFTs without the high fees thereby making its system eco-friendly to its end users.