GameStop’s new NFT marketplace—which finally launched in beta on Monday after months of teases and hype among some retail traders—has brought the game retailer about $45,000 in transaction fees in its first 24 hours, according to an Ars-exclusive analysis. While that revenue is a minimal drop in the bucket for a company of GameStop’s size, it also means GameStop is now a surprisingly large player in the quickly shrinking market for NFTs.
Ars’ analysis is based on publicly available data from the Gamestop NFT marketplace webpage. So far, that marketplace is sorted into nearly 54,000 distinct NFTs (many of which are available in multiple limited “editions”) that are all part of one of about 250 collections. The combined, displayed “total volume” for those NFTs—which includes both initial sales by the creator and subsequent sales by secondhand purchasers—totaled about 1,835 ethereum (ETH) as of Tuesday afternoon (roughly $1.98 million at current ETH market prices).
GameStop takes a 2.25 percent marketplace fee on all those transactions (broadly in line with competing marketplaces), which translates to about $44,500 at current market rates. The rest of that sales volume goes to the people selling the NFTs, after crypto network fees and a variable creator royalty fee are taken into account.
Of those 250 collections, the most popular—a set of 10,000 animated GIFs called MetaBoy—currently accounts for 25 percent of GameStop NFT trading volume. The top four NFT collections on the service so far account for just over 52 percent of all trading. On the other end, 48 collections representing 317 distinct NFTs have yet to see any exchanges on the GameStop platform. The median collection on the service has seen about 0.9 ETH ($970) in trading volume so far.
A drop in the bucket
On the one hand, $45,000 in daily transaction fees will practically not impact GameStop’s bottom line, which brought in over $6 billion in net sales (or $16.5 million per day) in its last full fiscal year. Put another way: If GameStop’s NFT transaction fee revenue remains constant at its current level for an entire year, it will represent just 0.27 percent of the company’s fiscal 2021 revenues.
GameStop’s NFT transaction fees are also paltry when compared to the $1.271 billion in cash on hand the company had at the end of 2021. Much of that nest egg came from a massive sale of the company’s still heavily inflated stock last June.
On the other hand, GameStop’s NFT marketplace is distinctly different from the bulk of the company’s business. GameStop’s thousands of retail stores require spending on physical inventory, shipping and warehousing costs, retail employee wages, or brick-and-mortar store maintenance. Those costs were largely responsible for GameStop’s $381 million loss in its last fiscal year, despite all that revenue.
By contrast, GameStop’s “non-custodial” NFT blockchain—which runs on Loopring, a “Layer 2” solution that itself runs on top of ethereum—doesn’t come with any of those ongoing costs. And while GameStop has reportedly invested tens of millions of dollars to start its NFT marketplace, the transaction fee revenue it’s making from the effort probably comes with little overhead.