GameStop's new NFT marketplace is the pinnacle of blockchain bloat

GameStop is sticking to its NFT guns even as the market tanks.

This week marks the official launch of GameStop’s NFT marketplace and a new direction for the meme stock mainstay, even despite a flailing market for all things crypto-adjacent.

The seeds to an OpenSea competitor were sowed at the beginning of this year after the company — high off their own fumes from meme stock decadence — decided that the NFT market was the next great investment.

As far as the marketplace is concerned, the beta offers an interface that functions similar to OpenSea in that users have the ability to explore a variety of NFT projects for sale, with a set of featured collections on both the home and explore pages.

There are some people who truly believe in the staying power of this Gamestop’s foray into NFTs.Reddit

Some slight differences — GameStop’s NFT marketplace appears like an OpenSea clone, but there are some minor differences. While it’s important to reiterate that this platform is still in beta, GameStop’s marketplace currently lacks some features of OpenSea — namely the ability to see trading activity or sales data of NFT collections.

My guess would be that this information will eventually be introduced when more people have joined the platform, though that will do little to fix the quality (or lack thereof) of NFTs available on the site.

Similar to Meta and Reddit, GameStop has introduced a feature that allows artists to apply to be creators on the platform and mint their own projects for the site. The hope here is to draw in people with some kind of following or notoriety, so that they can bring additional traffic to the marketplace.

However, while Meta and Reddit seek to convert NFT enthusiasts into aditional users of their social media platforms, the end game for GameStop seems to be bolstering its digital collectible platform.

One glaring omission from the beta is a dedicated space for blockchain games and in-game NFTs, which will presumably arrive with the official launch. You would imagine that a company like GameStop, which is tasked with understanding its consumer base (gamers of all kinds), would be able to see that the average gamer has no interest in NFT tie-ins, but I suppose the allure of the next big NFT marketplace is too strong to ignore.

Ultimately the result is bland at best and unnecessary at worst. Still, the urge to double down on what may very well be this decade’s dot-com bubble persists, even when the timing is far less than ideal.