GameStop’s new NFT marketplace—which launched in beta on Monday after months of teasing and hype among some retail merchants—has given the game retailer a transaction fee of about $45,000 in its first 24 hours, according to an Ars-exclusive analysis. While this is the minimal drop in the revenue bucket for a company the size of GameStop, it also means that GameStop is now a surprisingly large player in a rapidly shrinking market for NFTs.
Ars’ analysis is based on publicly available data from the Gamestop NFT Marketplace webpage. So far, that marketplace has been sorted into approximately 54,000 different NFTs (many of which are available in a number of limited “editions”), which are part of one of about 250 collections. Combined for those NFTs, the displayed “total volume” – which includes initial sales by creators and subsequent sales by secondhand buyers – totaled 1,835 Ethereum (ETH) (about $1.98 million at current ETH market prices) as of Tuesday afternoon.
GameStop charges a 2.25 percent marketplace fee on all those transactions (roughly in line with competitive markets), which translates to approximately $44,500 at current market rates. After taking into account crypto network fees and a variable producer royalty fee, the remaining sales volume goes to the people selling NFTs.
Of those 250 collections, the most popular—a set of 10,000 animated GIFs called Metaboys—currently accounts for 25 percent of GameStop NFT trading volume. The top four NFT collections so far on the service account for over 52 percent of all trading. On the other hand, 48 collections representing 317 different NFTs are yet to see any exchange on the Gamestop platform. Average collections on the service have seen around 0.9 ETH ($970) in trading volume so far.
a drop in the bucket
On the one hand, $45,000 in daily transaction fees won’t practically affect GameStop’s bottom line, which brought in more than $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 stable at its current levels throughout the year, it would represent just 0.27 percent of the company’s fiscal 2021 revenue.
GameStop’s NFT transaction fees are also lower than the $1.271 billion in cash the company had at the end of 2021. Much of that nest egg came from the massive sale of the company’s still-heavy stock last June.
On the other hand, GameStop’s NFT marketplace is separate from most 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. Despite all that revenue, those costs were largely responsible for GameStop’s $381 million loss in the last fiscal year.
In contrast, GameStop’s “non-custodial” NFT blockchain—which runs on Looping, a “Layer 2” solution that runs on top of Ethereum itself—comes with none of those ongoing costs. And while GameStop reportedly invested tens of millions of dollars to launch its NFT marketplace, the transaction fee revenue it’s making from the effort probably comes with a little overhead.