Plans for a GameStop NFT marketplace are speeding up. The US video game retailer has revealed details to co-create a $100 million fund for game developers and creatives to make use of, and it could be the start of gaming NFTs crossing over into the mainstream.
We've known for some time GameStop has been hiring blockchain and cryptocurrency staff, building up its internal division. It's becoming clear gaming will play a role in the future of NFTs, and we take a deep dive in our feature NFT Gaming: 10 things you need to know.
GameStop is partnering with Immutable X, a Layer 2 blockchain, to develop its cryptocurrency and marketplace. Blockchain developer Immutable X is already working in the NFT space with an NFT token on Mintable, and its own NFT trading card game, Gods Unchained.
Immutable X has the technology to overcome the big drawback to current NFT creation as it boasts cheaper 'gas fees' (the cost of creating an NFT) and lower energy use. And as transactions are written on the Ethereum blockchain Immutable X offers the best of both worlds, security and a low-carbon footprint. Better still, in theory anyone who's currently using Immutable X can trade their NFTs on GameStops' planned marketplace.
What's the impact of GameStop's NFT marketplace?
GameStop is not the first company in video games to jump into NFTs. But having such a big retailer back NFTs will likely mean video game publishers will take up the idea too. Ubisoft, the publisher of Assassin's Creed, has already revealed its NFT platform, called Quartz but suffered some fan backlash. The first game to make use of Quartz and its NFTs, called Digits, will be shooter Ghost Recon Breakpoint, where players can earn and trade skins, weapons, and other items.
Square Enix is also invested in looking into creating an NFT platform, the Final Fantasy developer sees blockchain tech and NFTs as a future for video games. Speaking to Creative Bloq, Bored Ape member Jace Kay identified video game NFTs and play-to-earn as a breakout NFT trend in 2022. It looks like GameStop is on the same page.
As NFTs become cheaper to create with new crypto technology (it's unclear which GameStop is adopting) and new blockchains, 2022 could well see video games lead the NFT boom.