Web3 Watch: GameStop Partners with FTX and Sorare Creates NBA Fantasy Game

Solana NFTs are picking up, and metaverse trademarks are also on the rise

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key takeaways

  • Metaverse trademark registrations through 8 months of 2022 have eclipsed all of 2021
  • ENS is the top ETH collection with the most volume on OpenSea within the past seven days

This week Blockworks looked at the state of the nascent GameFi market and how venture capital is keen on pouring money into it during a bear market.

Additionally, a new Solana NFT collection, y00ts, has already generated over $7 million worth of secondary sales since Monday despite minting delays.

Blockworks recaps other notable stories that caught the eyes of the Web3 Watch.

Metaverse trademarks are booming

4,150 trademarks relating to Web3 and the metaverse have been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) so far in 2022. This is slightly more than twice as many as the total metaverse trademark registrations in all of last year — 1866.

Three major brands have put in their own filings in the past week alone, including carmaker Ford, with 19 trademark applications for virtual cars, trucks, vans and clothing, as well as an NFT marketplace.

Sony Music filed trademarks for its Columbia Records logo to be used in association with NFT-backed media including art & music NFTs, music and podcast production as well as artist management and music distribution services. 

Luxury goods retailer Hermes also filed trademarks for its name to be linked to NFTs, an NFT marketplace, virtual clothing and footwear, fashion shows and cryptocurrencies. It also mentions plans to create game software featuring avatars, alongside plans for user authentication services for e-commerce transactions.

Metaverse and NFT-focused applications are growing all over the world. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) claims to have registered 205 applications using the term “metaverse” in 2022.

The number of NFT-specific applications was 1,277 in 2021, but as of September 2022 there have been 1,157 applications.

For hoops fans who fancy NFTs

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) teamed up with French startup Sorare to launch a free-to-play fantasy basketball game this Fall.

Sorare is mostly popular in Europe for its NFT-based fantasy soccer game. After partnering with the Major League Baseball (MLB) association in July, it has now turned to basketball fans as it expands within the US.

This partnership makes Sorare the official NFT fantasy partner of the NBA and gives it the rights to use official NBA league and team logos across its products.

The fantasy game will be released in time for the 2022-23 season and plans to enable fans to buy and sell digital NFT cards representing their favorite players and teams, while putting together a line-up that can earn them points based on the real-life performance of NBA players.

The NBA is no stranger to NFTs and already counts on the Dapper Labs-run NBA Top Shot  NFT marketplace where sports fans can buy, sell and trade video clips from basketball games. 

GameStop partnered with FTX, making the video game retailer FTX’s preferred retail partner in the US.

The partnership intends to “introduce more GameStop customers to the crypto exchange’s community and its marketplaces for digital assets,” a press release stated. 

While additional details including the financial terms have not been disclosed, one known perk is that GameStop stores will begin selling FTX gift cards.

GameStop recently launched its own NFT marketplace and its own crypto wallet. When the company submitted its Q2 2022 earnings report on Wednesday, however, it noted that any recent financial success may not stem from these new products.

“Revenues earned from our digital asset wallet and NFT marketplace were not material to the condensed consolidated financial statements for the three and six months ended July 30, 2022,” its quarterly SEC filing stated.  

Additionally, FTX also recently partnered with Reddit and Arbitrum to allow users to pay gas fees on Reddit’s “Community Points” tokens using fiat currency.

New blockchain game alert 

The top Solana marketplace Magic Eden recently expanded to the Ethereum blockchain. One of its first ETH NFT mints on the Magic Eden Launchpad includes a collaboration with Web3 game studio Azra Games.

Azra, which recently closed a $15 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), announced plans to launch a collection of profile picture (PFP) NFTs called “The Hopeful,” as part of its upcoming “Legions & Legends” game. 

This game is an ETH-powered collectible and combat role-playing game (RPG) set in a sci-fi fantasy universe. The company is led by Mark Otero, former General Manager of EA Capital Games, whose credits include Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.

Magic Eden recently shifted its focus to gaming by launching a new venture capital fund, dubbed Magic Ventures, that focuses on investments in Web3 games from third parties as well as its own. 

Vitalik polls crypto Twitter 

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has been tweeting out a slew of polls lately — from personal random questions, like which crypto personality he respects the most, to what a fair price for a 5-letter .eth domain name is. 

In response to the latter, 91,130 participants chimed in and around 50% of the crypto community thinks that the fair price for a 5-letter .eth domain name for 100 years is less than $100. The same goes for .eth domain for 10 years. 

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At the same time, Buterin has called for Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain taxation, suggesting a 3% yearly fee on ENS domain names for the highest bidder.

For example, an investor with $500,000 as the highest bid on their domain should pay a $15,000 taxation annually to maintain ownership. According to him, this would demotivate people from hoarding domains they aren’t using.

ENS has been trading at the top of the secondary sales charts on OpenSea, as the ETH collection with the most volume within the past seven days.

It registered 301,000 new .eth domains in August and touts a total of 2.17 million names so far.


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