On Thursday, iconic brick-and-mortar video game retailer GameStop announced a partnership with layer-2 nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, Ethereum (ETH) scaling solution Immutable X to develop GameStop’s upcoming NFT marketplace. GameStop will utilize Immutable’s technology for trading and minting NFTs.
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— Immutable | $IMX (@Immutable) February 3, 2022
Immutable developers claim that the new NFT marketplace will be 100% carbon neutral with no gas fees. In addition, both Immutable and GameStop will launch a $100 million grant program denominated in IMX tokens for NFT content creators and tech developers. Although GameStop will receive the rights to up to $150 million IMX tokens upon accomplishing certain business milestones.
At the time of publication, the grant is only available to corporate entities and decentralized autonomous organizations developing video games, Web3, metaverse, IT services and digital brands. The month prior, GameStop entered the NFT space by announcing the hiring of over 20 new staff and teasing two upcoming partnerships with blockchain firms for NFT game development.
On social media, users appeared less than pleased with the development, with @LouiePikmin2 writing:
“Wow, you guys will really do anything to stay in business, including investing heavily into a fad.”
In context, GameStop had dropped over 70% since all-time highs last January, when it was the target of a Reddit-fueled short-squeeze. The decay of its stock momentum has created a community of less-than-happy investors.
In addition, users appear to be disgruntled that Loopring, an ETH token project designed for powering decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges, was not included in the announcement despite prior negotiations with GameStop. However, in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing the same day, GameStop disclosed that Loopring is still involved in the NFT marketplace, with the company stating:
“GameStop will not integrate any blockchain protocol other than Ethereum Layer 1 and Loopring into their NFT marketplace without first having integrated Immutable.”