Gamestop partnered up with Immutable X, only to dump part of its grant shortly after receiving it.
Gamestop and Immutable X join forces
The writing has been on the wall for Gamestop.
Reports about launching its own NFT marketplace have been out there for quite a while, but things are moving quickly now. Last week, the video game retailing giant announced its partnership with Immutable X, a layer-two scaling solution focused on NFTs. The marketplace is supposed to launch later this year. That marks the second big partnership for Immutable X, after joining forces with social media giant TikTok.
Furthermore, GameStop announced a joint $140 million AUD grant fund to support developers launching NFT projects on the marketplace. Immutable X committed 56,209,850 of its IMX tokens to the grant fund, which is capped at $100 million. Furthermore, Immutable X plans to provide over $200 million AUD in IMX tokens for hitting milestones like reaching $2.1 billion AUD and $4.2 billion AUD in sales volume on the platform within a certain period.
GameStop quickly dumps the grant
However, GameStop’s loyalty only lasted for so long.
Almost immediately after announcing the partnership, the retailer sold almost 15 million IMX on various cryptocurrency exchanges. As the tokens had no vesting period that could have prevented a token dump, the gaming giant did the sensible (or shameless?) thing and cashed out part of the money it received. Consequently, the IMX token tanked over 30%.
Etherscan data indicated that GameStop has received the first two IMX payments, worth 28,104,925 and 9,368,608 IMX tokens, respectively. 14,989,293 IMX were reportedly liquidated. The following payments will be bound to meeting the milestones mentioned above, which may have contributed to the retailer’s decision to hedge its bets. 18.7 million IMX tokens in three future instalments are still outstanding.
This situation resembles the Uniswap and Harvard Law’s Blockchain and Fintech Initiative in July 2021, when the university quickly sold the almost $30 million AUD grant it received from the exchange’s DeFi education fund.
NFT market well-positioned for further gains
Despite the no-nonsense token dump by GameStop, the partnership is a good indicator of the state of the NFT market in early 2022.
After two bull market surges in 2021, both of which were followed by subsequent cool-off periods, the NFT market seems to be gearing upwards again. Indicators for this are increased fundamental demand by videogame developers and ongoing improvements in the development of layer-two technologies. Of course, the NFT market is not decoupled from the broader crypto market, which is hanging by a thread over macroeconomic instability. But NFTs are arguably juicier and in higher demand than many cryptocurrencies.
They’re also penetrating the mainstream culture through various brands and celebrities, picking up on and fuelling the hype. It would thus be unsurprising to see GameStop hold on to the rest of its stack of IMX after meeting the goals. Chances are, the NFT market will be a lot bigger in 2025 than it is now.