GameStop is building an NFT marketplace with new job listings detailing the company's ambitions in the rapidly-evolving industry. Read more!
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs
, have attracted much mainstream attention in the past few months. As a result, numerous brands are exploring opportunities
in this space, including GameStop
. The video game retailer intends to build a new NFT platform to "change the game" with the help of Ethereum technology. In addition, the company seeks to hire an Ethereum specialist to help build and maintain this NFT marketplace.
By exploring this option, GameStop is trying to make its way into the Web3 environment
. More specifically, the job opening for "Head of Web3 Gaming" indicates the company wants to establish a foothold in the metaverse
, with a strong focus on the gaming industry. Through blockchain technology and NFTs, games are no longer seen as physical or digital pieces of software but rather locations and environments for players to immerse themselves.
GameStop initially hinted at building an NFT marketplace in May 2021. The teaser page for that project is still online yet doesn't offer too much information regarding the venture. However, GameStop intends to work with "exceptional" engineers, designers, games, community leaders, and marketers to explore the potential of non-fungible tokens and their role in the metaverse.
Moreover, the teaser page hints at returning power to the players, creators, and collectors. The job opening also mentions "accelerating the future of gaming and commerce" by building the components of games, including characters, equipment, etc. The company seems convinced that blockchain technology will power all of the commerce surrounding metaverses and gaming NFTs.
Most details regarding GameStop's foray into NFTs remain unclear. However, sources close to the matter expect a big announcement to be made once the platform is ready to be revealed. Building an NFT marketplace with Web3 capabilities is a painstaking process.
With several new job openings being initiated since the marketplace announcement, it is evident the project is not near completion yet. For example, GameStop is still hiring
people for NFT marketing, software engineering, and Web3 gaming. Moreover, all of these positions are to be filled by people who can "build something from scratch” confirming there may not be a fixed template to work with.
The push into NFTs seems to be a part of GameStop's broader plans to undergo a digital transformation. However, going from a brick-and-mortar retailer to a digital household name in the metaverse is not an easy journey.
Not much is known about GameStop's plans for NFTs or Web3, so it is impossible to determine which unique features it will provide. However, it appears the Loopring project might play a role in this development.
More specifically, the Loopring GitHub
repository has amended code in the "NFT-DEV" branch that makes references to GameStop and the use of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)
It is not the first time IPFS has been named in the same breath as the GameStop NFT marketplace. When the team first revealed the project, it quickly became apparent that GameStop would use IPFS. That decision makes sense, as it provides a decentralized and distributed solution for storing and accessing files, websites, data, and applications.
One intriguing aspect of the teaser page for this NFT marketplace is the Ethereum smart contract
address. It doesn't offer any extra information at this time, but it seems to confirm that GameStop will explore opportunities on the Ethereum blockchain. It is a logical decision, as Ethereum is home to many popular NFT collections and marketplaces, including OpenSea
Moreover, it appears the GameStop NFT marketplace will be compatible with Ethereum layer 2
products. Layer 2 protocols allow Ethereum to scale beyond its current technical constraints and often help reduce overall transaction costs. It is not uncommon for users to pay transaction fees of up to $50 to perform network activity, whereas layer 2 solutions can do the same at a fraction of the cost. Loopring is a layer 2 solution, although multiple others exist.
It is not the first time non-fungible tokens and video games have come together in the blockchain industry. While the involvement of GameStop brings more legitimacy to this concept, there is a whole set of blockchain games embracing the play-to-earn model by tokenizing in-game assets through NFT technology. Then, players can trade those tokens for others or sell them on marketplaces for real-world money.
It seems unlikely that GameStop will create new NFTs for games unless they begin developing those themselves. However, if more game developers and publishers embrace NFT technology, it makes sense for GameStop to try and capture a share of action. Another option is how they might explore GameStop-branded NFTs as loyalty perks or rewards for customers, which one can potentially use in select video games as a "bonus", similar to how pre-order bonuses work.
Redditors from all over the world seem to be excited about the idea of a GameStop NFT marketplace. Most of the positive momentum comes from the same people who poured millions of dollars into GME stocks
earlier this year, thanks to WallstreetBets
. Moreover, there are still plenty of GME-related discussions on the SuperStonk subreddit, which has nearly 700,00 members.
One Reddit user even deemed
the GameStop NFT marketplace job openings "the best job listings" and a "bullish signal to buy even more GME stock". While that sentiment makes some sense, there isn't enough information to draw any conclusions regarding GameStop's venture into the world of non-fungible tokens.
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