GameStop’s NFT Site Goes Live as English Premiere League Kicks Non-Fungible Tires


Video game retailer and cryptocurrency booster GameStop’s non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace has gone live on the gaming-focused Ethereum layer-2 blockchain ImmutableX, with collections based on games including “Gods Unchained,” a Web3 digital fantasy card game from a former game director of “Magic: The Gathering.”

The move “unlocks access to Web3 games and millions of world-class, NFT gaming assets,” the company said in its Monday (Oct. 31) announcement. Building the marketplace on ImmutableX will allow “100% gas-free and carbon-neutral minting and trading.”

Meanwhile, the English Premiere League, one of soccer’s top leagues, is reportedly working on a $3.4 million deal with blockchain-based soccer game Sorare, Sky News reported last week. The league is pitching the contract to its 20 teams, including powerhouses like Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal. It would focus on still images of star players.

Another NFT deal would link the Premiere League with Dapper Labs, the creator of the immensely popular NBA Top Shots NFT video clip collection, which helped take NFT collectables mainstream.

In other news, NFT marketplaces are throwing artists under the bus, refusing to honor royalty requirements that many attach to their works. The royalty payments, which generally run 5% to 10%, are written onto the NFT but cannot be enforced on-chain, instead requiring the selling venue to collect and submit the payment — after all, the smart contract controlling an NFT cannot determine how much it is sold for.

The problem is that a few small NFT marketplaces began refusing to collect the fees and customers flocked to them, forcing many larger marketplaces to follow. The second- and third largest Ethereum marketplaces, LooksRare and X2Y2, have dropped mandatory royalties.

Meanwhile, Twitter has announced plans for NFT Tweet Tiles that include a link to larger images of the NFT, along with information about the artwork and its creator. The goal is to encourage the use of NFTs while also inserting the social media company further into the NFT community.

In January, Twitter rolled out another feature offering NFT ownership verification — denoted by a special border — to let NFT owners distinguish themselves from someone who has just grabbed an image screenshot.

Twitter is going through a monetization push under its new ownership by Elon Musk, so it seems likely that more paid features and services involving NFTs (and everything else) will be in the pipeline. Musk has also proposed hiking the cost of Twitter Blue subscriptions that include blue verification checkmarks four-fold, to $20, and is reportedly looking into building it into a WeChat-style superapp with a strong payments arm.

Lastly, Hester Peirce, the crypto-friendly commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — long since nicknamed “Crypto Mom” for her early industry support — warned in an interview with Decrypt that with the agency having “provided very little clarity” on NFTs, “people really need to be very careful.” She said there is “a lot of ambiguity,” which is “not ideal.” Peirce has often criticized the agency for a crypto policy she (and many in the industry) have complained is regulation by enforcement.

The comments come in the wake of the SEC reportedly investigating Yuga Labs, the creator of the top NFT avatar/profile picture (PFP) collection Bored Ape Yacht Club for securities violations. Pierce has in the past warned that some NFTs — notably those that fractionalize the value of digital or physical goods — do meet the definition of securities.

For all PYMNTS crypto coverage, subscribe to the daily Crypto Newsletter.