Analysis: GameStop’s NFT marketplace earns the company just $45,000 on day one

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Enlarge / Does GameStop’s “power to gamers” NFT marketplace bring power to GameStop itself?

GameStop’s new NFT Marketplace, which has finally launched in beta on Monday after month teasing and infatuation at select retailers – earned the game retailer about $45,000 in transaction fees in its first 24 hours, according to analysis exclusive to Ars. While that revenue is a tiny drop in the bucket for a company the size of GameStop, it also means that GameStop is now a surprisingly big player in the rapidly shrinking NFT market.

Ars’ analysis is based on publicly available data from the Gamestop NFT market webpage. So far, this market is categorized into nearly 54,000 distinct NFTs (many of which are available in several limited “editions”) that are all part of one of approximately 250 collections. The combined displayed “total volume” for these NFTs – which includes both initial sales by the creator and subsequent sales by second-hand buyers – totaled around 1,835 ethereum (ETH) as of Tuesday afternoon (around 1.98 million at current ETH market prices).

GameStop take a 2.25% marketplace fee on all of these transactions (roughly in line with competing marketplaces), which translates to approximately $44,500 at current market rates. The rest of that sales volume goes to the people selling the NFTs, after taking into account cryptonet fees and a variable creator fee.

Of these 250 collections, the most popular: a set of 10,000 animated GIFs called MetaBoy– currently accounts for 25% of GameStop NFT transaction volume. The service’s four main NFT collections account for just over 52% of all transactions so far. At the other end, 48 collections representing 317 distinct NFTs have yet to see any trades on the GameStop platform. The median inflow on the service has seen around 0.9 ETH ($970) in trading volume so far.

A drop in the bucket

For one thing, $45,000 in daily transaction fees will have virtually no impact on GameStop’s bottom line, which generated more than $6 billion in net sales (or $16.5 million per day ) in its last full fiscal year. Simply put: If GameStop’s NFT transaction fee revenue remains constant at its current level for an entire year, it will only represent 0.27% of the company’s fiscal 2021 revenue.

GameStop’s NFT transaction fees also pale in comparison to the $1.271 billion in cash the company had at the end of 2021. Much of that nest egg came from a massive sale still heavily inflated shares of the company last June.

An example of Metaboy NFT, which is part of the most popular collection in the GameStop market.
Enlarge / An example of Metaboy NFT, which is part of the most popular collection in the GameStop market.

On the other hand, GameStop’s NFT marketplace is markedly different from the company’s core business. GameStop’s thousands of retail stores require spending on physical inventory, shipping and warehousing, retail employee salaries, or physical store maintenance. Those costs were largely responsible for GameStop losing $381 million in its last fiscal year, despite all that revenue.

In contrast, GameStop’s “non-custodial” NFT blockchain, which runs on Loop, a “Layer 2” solution that runs itself on Ethereum, incurs none of these ongoing costs. And while GameStop has reportedly invested tens of millions of dollars to get its NFT marketplace started, the transaction fee revenue it makes from that effort likely comes with little overhead.

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