GameStop NFT marketplace: A beginner’s guide
What is the GameStop NFT marketplace?
The GameStop nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace was launched in July 2022 during the crypto bear market. Despite being a traditional Web2 gaming organization, GameStop has seen success with the platform primarily due to the distribution strategies they used in onboarding Web2 and Web3 users onto the marketplace.
The rise of play-to-earn games and GameFi through the 2021 bull market triggered rumors late that year, including that GameStop was working with ImmutableX on an NFT marketplace. GameStop had the advantage of a mature gaming ecosystem, particularly in the United States, that it could tap into.
An established gamer ecosystem and relationships with creators and game studios, combined with ImmutableX’s Web3 leadership, set the stage for a well-thought-through launch of the NFT marketplace.
How did GameStop gain traction?
Long story short, GameStop wanted to reinvent itself due to dwindling business. It also needed to take one step into the future, and what better way than to capitalize on Web3 gaming, which is touted to dominate gaming in the years to come.
When GameStop, one of the biggest video game retailer platforms, launched its own decentralized marketplace in 2022, there was a lot of hype around it. Immediately after the launch, its trading volume comprehensively defeated rival Coinbase’s volume despite a 2.25% marketplace fee.
Moreover, GameStop partnered with layer-2 platform ImmutableX for the rollout, and the opening week brought $7.2 million in sales.
What do users gain by participating in GameStop NFT marketplace?
There are platforms like OpenSea, Coinbase NFT marketplace and many more where users can buy and sell NFTs. The world took notice of the GameStop NFT marketplace, as it formulated a clever strategy and tapped into its existing distribution network for better accessibility and user experience.
One of the greatest advantages that Web2 native companies have over Web3 startups is an existing customer base. For a giant like GameStop, any new offering can be distributed to their customers, which played a key role in it having better sales volume than Coinbase in the initial week.
The second most striking thing about the launch was the strategic partnerships that added value to the user base, along with explainer videos, allied products and community initiatives. Some key features of the marketplace for users and collectors are the following:
- Clear “How-To” videos, such as how to connect a wallet to GameStop NFT, how to buy NFTs on GameStop NFT marketplace, etc. Users can onboard themselves to the platform more easily once they have gone through the How-To videos.
- Users of GameStop’s marketplace get a wallet that offers on-ramping functionalities. Users are able to perform free fiat-currency-to-Ether (ETH) conversions without having to go through an exchange.
- A seamless “Web2-like” customer journey is what users can expect from the GameStop marketplace. Web3 has been plagued by multiple onboarding touchpoints and customer journeys with friction. The GameStop customer journey allows users to focus on the gaming experience.
- Minting NFTs is 100% gas-free and carbon-neutral.
- Web3 gaming collections offer an integrated experience for gamers.
How has GameStop benefited from the marketplace?
To understand the traction and rise of GameStop marketplace platforms, one must first understand the fundamental reason why any ecosystem would want to build a marketplace.
For any economic machinery to function smoothly, a thriving commerce and exchange system has to be created. One of the fundamental allures of Web3 companies, along with decentralization, is revenue generation through different economic models, in which NFTs play a vital role.
A place to buy, sell and trade NFTs is crucial, which is the fundamental problem marketplaces try to solve. However, marketplaces can be more effective in creating a focused approach to what users can buy and sell. Therefore, a nonfungible token marketplace focused on gaming launched by a gaming giant would help create better network effects through niche assets for a niche user base.
How to use GameStop NFT marketplace
The homepage of GameStop’s marketplace features creators, games and NFT collections. A serious user can connect their Ethereum wallet and create an ImmutableX key. Users can navigate the website through the menu options where they get to access a universe of games and NFT collections.
Statistics on the most traded assets and their trading volumes are available to users. These insights can be seen per collection and per creator to show the most celebrated creator on the platform.
Users are also provided with a wealth of information on NFTs, wallets, layer-2 solutions and, more importantly, how one can become a creator on the GameStop platform. Videos providing step-by-step guidance are also available for users.
The GameStop website is, therefore, clearly constructed with both Web2 and Web3 users in mind. It offers a helping hand to those who feel overwhelmed with the Web3 user journey and simplifies the onboarding process.
How do creators and game developers benefit?
Community is key to any Web3 platform’s success. A creator- and game developer-friendly ecosystem is critical to achieving network effect on the platform.
Creators and game studios can benefit from two community-uplifting initiatives, as explained below:
These initiatives, combined with the partnerships with esports organizations that GameStop has forged, can benefit the creator community on the platform. As a result of these efforts, both collectors and creators of NFT and gaming content have benefitted immensely. This has helped achieve network effects on the platform.
A Web3 gaming super app versus OpenSea
The de facto leader of NFT marketplaces is OpenSea. Comparatively, GameStop still has a long way to go; however, it has shown great signs of growth for an early NFT marketplace compared to other incumbents.
OpenSea began its journey in 2017, but GameStop has only recently launched its marketplace. Therefore, a comparison of unit economics between the two platforms can be unfair. Even in a best-case scenario of trading volumes, GameStop’s entire year’s worth of transactions would be less than what OpenSea has been achieving on a per-month basis.
GameStop’s strategy is to tap into its user base of gamers. GameStop has launched synergetic products and services along with the marketplace, looking to acquire users and retain them. GameStop is working toward becoming a gaming super app in the Web3 world, which would allow GameStop users to have a “one-stop-shop” experience for all things within Web3 gaming.
The future of GameStop NFT marketplace
The entire NFT space has seen a decline in volumes and market capitalization during the bear market. No platform is immune to this fall. However, as the market recovers, a superior model and approach could help GameStop become a leader in this space.
Most nonfungible token marketplaces today have typically differentiated themselves with a better user interface, royalty models, token incentivization or commission models. However, GameStop has taken a unique approach to this sector by creating an ecosystem-specific experience. This would allow them to create bespoke structures that the gaming world demands.
This unbundling of marketplace models could soon be the norm as ecosystem- or sector-specific marketplaces could take NFT market share from more generic platforms like OpenSea. Despite being a late entrant into this market, GameStop could soon be a major force to be reckoned with by virtue of leading the unbundling process.