Brick-and-mortar game retailer GameStop is doubling down on its Web3 strategy with a new partnership with crypto exchange FTX, following the launch of its own NFT marketplace in July. The partnership aims to attract GameStop’s growing Web3-savvy customer base to FTX’s suite of Web3 services — and crucially, FTX’s own marketplace for NFTs, according to GameStop’s official statement. GameStop is also looking to build on this partnership by offering FTX gift cards at select brick-and-mortar branches of the game store.
why it matters
Despite GameStop’s moderate, sometimes overwhelmingly negative, NFT market acceptance, the game retailer’s biggest Web3 foray to date has helped it stay relevant amid an industry-wide shift to the digital gaming market. PC gamers are well aware of this shift—the vast majority of laptops and pre-installed desktop PCs have omitted disk drives for years. Before launching GameStop’s NFT marketplace, it released its own non-custodial crypto wallet, the first step in its strategy to bring customers to Web3. But what about the rewards of GameStop’s Web3 gamble? GameStop’s NFT marketplace made over $7 million in its first few days. At press time, that figure has soared to more than $20 million. However, according to a Cointelegraph report at the end of August, there has been a recent decline in market sales, including just $4,000 in sales on the NFT market in the last 24 hours.
While Web3 technologies (and NFTs in particular) have long drawn the ire of the mainstream gaming community, gaming is widely seen as the most likely way to get the wider public involved in blockchain. As the current discussions in the blockchain gaming industry about “play to earn” (P2E) versus “play to earn” continue to change, more sophisticated gamers may be needed to handle the issue of new users entering the Web3 space. As GameStop continues to work on building out its Web3 infrastructure, there are signs that this feeling remains the same — at least among game retailers’ decision makers. But wait, there’s more: