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GME soars on NFT marketplace deal with Immutable X

By Joyanta Acharjee

15:42, 3 February 2022

GameStop (GME) store in New York City
The video games retailer is branching out into the digital world – Photo: Shutterstock

Cryptocurrencies and video games took a step closer together on Thursday as GameStop (GME) entered a partnership with Immutable X over non-fungible tokens (NFTs), resulting in GME stock soaring in morning trading.

The announcement confirmed earlier speculation that the North American video game retailer was launching an NFT marketplace.

As at 10:03 EST (UTC-5), GME soared 9% to $101.12 per share.

NFT marketplace

“Immutable X will also become a layer-2 partner and platform for GameStop and the company’s NFT marketplace that is expected to launch later this year,” GameStop said in a press release.

NFTs are unique, non-tradeable ownership receipts for digital assets that are tracked on a specific blockchain – such as Ethereum – to prove authenticity. They can take the form of a static image, video clip or an animated 3D image. They also exist as digital trading cards for a variety of sports.

Thursday’s agreement will see the launch of a $100m (£73.6m, €88.6m) fund – payable in Immutable X's IMX tokens – which will be used for grants to creators of non-fungible token content and technology. Immutable X will provide a further $150m in its tokens to GameStop on certain additional milestones.

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Content creators

The fund is aimed at attracting game developers and studios to GameStop’s marketplace. Content creators can find out how to contribute to GameStop’s NFT marketplace by visiting https://nft.gamestop.com.

In a separate regulatory filing, GameStop confirmed it was also partnering with Loopring, an open-sourced, audited, and non-custodial Ethereum token.

“GameStop will not integrate any blockchain protocol, other than Ethereum Layer 1 and Loopring into their NFT marketplace without first having integrated Immutable,” it said in the filing.

Connecting with consumers

GameStop’s move into the NFT space is an example of how the technology can help businesses connect with consumers.

AAPL

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Media giants such as Fox and Viacom sell NFTs of their network’s most popular shows while Nike bought a company that will sell NFT versions of its athletic shoes.

Digital assets in video games is not a new phenomenon.

Console-gaming footballers have been able to buy and collect star players in Ultimate Team mode in Electronic Arts’ (EA) FIFA series of football games since 2009 while PC gamers have been able to collect hats and other cosmetic items that were randomly generated in online shooter Team Fortress 2 on Valve Software’s Steam platform since 2013.

Gaming controversy

Team17 abandons its plan for game-related NFTs – Credit: TwitterTwitter

NFTs in gaming however are controversial, with some consumers seeing them as cash grabs in addition to gaming downloadable content (DLCs).

UK video game studio Team17 recently abandoned plans to develop NFTs derived from its Worms series after backlash from gamers.

Late last year European video games publisher Ubisoft unveiled Ubisoft Quartz, an in-game NFT platform that drew criticism from the gaming community which felt that the platform was more about showing off how much money you have rather than expressing identity through your in-game character’s appearance.

‘Pride and accomplishment’

EA's 2017 response to criticism over Battlefron 2 remains the most infamous comment on social media platform Reddit – Credit: RedditReddit

EA also came under fire on social media platform Reddit in 2017 when it released Star Wars Battlefront 2 which originally featured in-game micro transactions that enabled players to unlock characters. The company’s official response to criticism remains the most infamous comment on the social media platform to this day, receiving over 600,000 down votes.

GME is a closely-watched “meme stock” – a publicly traded company whose shares have seen increases in price and trading volumes due to hype in social media and online forums.

Other meme stocks include cinema chain AMC Entertainment, Canadian cybersecurity company BlackBerry and data software company Palantir Technologies.

Markets in this article

BB
BlackBerry Limited (Extended Hours)
2.55 USD
-0.01 -0.400%
BB
BlackBerry Limited (Extended Hours)
2.55 USD
-0.01 -0.400%
EA
Electronic Arts
146.66 USD

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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