Web3 Watch: GameStop waves goodbye to NFT marketplace

Plus, a game that creates 3D versions of NFTs and Pudgy Penguins’ price floor hits an all-time high

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QualityHD/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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GameStop is shuttering its NFT marketplace on Feb. 2 due to “the continuing regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space,” the gaming giant announced via a website banner. 

GameStop removed support for its NFT wallet in November for the same reason. The news continues a trend of major companies losing interest in NFTs following social media platform X’s decision to end its NFT profile picture feature last week. 

Read more: X reportedly no longer supports NFT profile pictures

GameStop began teasing an NFT marketplace in May 2021 — shortly after a retail-led short squeeze ballooned the struggling stock’s price. The platform launched in July 2022, becoming a top-ten marketplace that summer. It saw $6 million in volume in its first two months. 

The traction wasn’t sticky, though: The site has seen roughly $40,000 in volume over the past month.

As part of its erstwhile NFT push, GameStop received a grant from gaming layer-2 Immutable to set up a $100 million gaming NFT fund. GameStop sold a large number of its tokens from the deal. 

GameStop was also integrated with the layer-2 Loopring.

Notably, Blockworks reported this week that despite a down 2023 for NFTs, gaming is a promising sector for a future of utility-focused NFTs. GameStop apparently doesn’t agree.

Read more: NFT volume fell $14.5B in 2023: CoinGecko

Metaverse gaming push continues

Austin-based gaming platform Nifty Island released the beta version of its open-world game on Wednesday. The game gives users islands where they can play as 3D renderings of their NFT avatars. 

Nifty Island is the latest Web3 game to try bringing utility to NFTs — in this case, allowing NFT holders to port their collectibles to the metaverse.

“As you might wear your favorite shirt to express yourself or bring your lucky mitt to play baseball with friends in the real world, I think the same applies in gaming, and we are at the cusp of a paradigm shift which will change the way we play,” Nifty Island co-founder Zunk wrote on X following the release. 

Nifty Island’s Web3 open-world game comes soon after Warner Bros. Discovery supported the creation of a Ready Player One-style metaverse — a once popular concept in crypto gaming that has lately fallen somewhat out of favor.

Read more: Web3 Watch: Ready Player One-style metaverse launches with Warner Bros support

One interesting stat:

  • The price floor of Pudgy Penguins NFTs has nearly doubled since the beginning of January, rising to an all-time high of roughly $47,000 per NFT Price Floor.

Also of note:

  • The heist movie Lift starring Kevin Hart released on Netflix. The plot prominently involves a high-value NFT seller. 
  • Animoca Brands is launching a chess-based strategy game named Anichess in partnership with Chess.com and chess world champion Magnus Carlsen.

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