A while back, GameStop had a whole saga with its stock price literally hitting the moon. There was a lot of public support for GameStop back then, and with such a premium stock price, the company had a chance to turn things around. How have they been since then?
Not good actually. The company is still struggling with the same fundamental problems that have plagued it for a long time. That hasn’t stopped them from trying everything under the sun, and recently the company announced plans to create a new marketplace for non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs.
That venture is going as well as you would expect it to, again, not well! Recently, the company came under fire for selling one NFT project that had content ripped off from other creators. Nathan Ellothe person behind the project, released NiFTy Arcade collection at GameStop’s NFT Marketplace. Unlike most NFTs, which are usually just pictures, the NiFTy Arcade collection actually has playable 8-bit games.
The project therefore managed quite well, with a net total 8.4 ETH from the first sale, which is going to be around $13500 with current exchange rates. The only problem; Nathan had no rights to many games in his NFT pack. This means that these games cannot be used for commercial purposes without the permission of the original creators.
One of the more notable games, Galactic Warrior, under a creative commons license, was also included in the NFT package. The emulation layer used to run the games, PICO-8, was also used without permission. Joseph White, told the creators of PICO-8 ArsTechnica“PICO-8’s license agreement does not permit use where author permission is not granted,“. Even a few other games like Volcano Bytes and Worm Nom Nom were also under a Creative Commons license, and were used without permission.
NFTs are a messy business
This is not the first time this type of problem has arisen from an NFT project. The industry has serious problems with content moderation and approvals, and enough actors in bad faith are able to slip in. GameStop also faced public outrage recently over “Falling man“ NFTwhich depicted a man in a space suit, replacing an original image of someone jumping from the North Tower during the World Trade Center attacks.
The reason advocates have a hard time explaining NFTs, in my opinion, is because NFTs are not a one-size-fits-all concept. They are a bundle of related concepts. NFTs are a cluster of superficially similar but functionally heterogeneous entities, much in the same way that “cryptoasset” or “blockchain” are too semantically diffuse to be considered a single taxonomic element.
– By Nic Carter on Medium
And that is precisely why NFTs are so difficult to monitor for any platform. Even with tighter controls, it’s only a matter of time before GameStop has to deal with something like this again.
When it comes to Handsome Arcade collection, which has now been drawn from the GameStop NFT platform. Creator Nathan Ello claimed he was unaware of the licensing status of the games, and has since offered to split the remuneration with the original developers.