Big brands are clamoring to ride the NFT bandwagon.
On Feb. 3, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Cameo, and GameStop all dropped significant news about their respective forays into NFTs.
The IOC has launched its Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic-themed mobile game featuring collectible tokenized pins after months of development. GameStop, a video game retailer and meme-stock, revealed it has teamed up with Immutable X to build its forthcoming NFT marketplace.
Cameo, the personalized video maker, also announced its upcoming Cameo Pass NFT drop, which will allow holders to access its “metaverse compound” in addition to exclusive merch and opportunities to attend live events.
GameStop, the previously surging memestock and embattled video game retailer, revealed it is working with Immutable X, an NFT-focused Ethereum L2, to launch its highly anticipated NFT marketplace later this year.
The firms also launched a $100M fund to support entities creating NFT and metaverse gaming content. The fund is composed of Immutable X’s native IMX token, meaning the value of its assets may fluctuate significantly.
The announcement follows sustained backlash from the gaming community against NFTs over environmental concerns and accusations of flagrant cash grabs. Game studios Team17, Sega, and GSC Gameworld have all backed down on plans to launch NFT content in recent months following an outpouring of negative feedback from their followers
On Twitter, Immutable asserted the platform will be “100% carbon neutral.” The deal has received criticism on social media regardless.
Twitter user ‘LouiePikmin2’ commented: “Wow, you guys will really do anything to stay in business, including investing heavily into a fad.” ‘JadeKintsugi’ added in jest that now is the time “to get in on the ground floor of the pyramid.”
Despite the negative feedback, GameStop’s shares rallied in early January when the firm first confirmed its plan to launch an NFT marketplace.
Crypto users also noted GameStop’s sudden pivot away from rival L2 Loopring. Last month, mainstream media again reported that the two firms were rumored to partner on NFTs. The rumors had been brewing since Loopring Head of Business Matthew Finestone left the company to become Gamestop’s Head of Blockchain in April 2021.
However, GameStop’s latest SEC filing notes that it will continue to utilize the Loopring protocol for NFT trading and minting. Immutable’s IMX token quickly rallied 30% to $4.25 from $3.25 as the news was announced, but has since slipped to $3.16.
The IOC launched its mobile game based on the forthcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics one day before the opening ceremony.
The game, dubbed Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022, allows players to compete in virtual winter sporting events, in addition to purchasing and trading tokenized Olympic pins.
Pins were introduced into the Olympics as a means to identify athletes and officials roughly 125 years ago, having since emerged as a prized form of memorabilia that retain significant monetary value.
The app was developed by nWay, a blockchain game developer owned by NFT and gaming software firm Animoca Brands. The developer also launched an app featuring collectible tokenized pins for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
Taehoon Kim, the nWay CEO, described the mobile game as allowing players to “own a piece of Olympic history.” He added that the game will receive continuous updates during the months leading up to the winter games to maintain player engagement.
Animoca Brands founder Yat Siu told The Defiant that its portfolio company Concept Art House was also involved in the production of the tokens.
The app is available in all countries that allow Apple App Store and Google Play, notably excluding the winter games’ host nation, China.
Cameo, a video-sharing network that allows users to purchase personalized messages from celebrities, has announced it will launch “Cameo Pass” NFTs on Feb. 17.
Cameo describes the NFTs as representing “the three phases of the day,” depicting artworks from popular artists Burnt Toast, Vinnie Hager, and Luke McGarry. Tokenholders will be granted “access to Cameo in the metaverse.”
The price to mint will be 0.2 ETH — roughly $560 at the time of writing.
Tokenholders be prioritized on the waitlists for “celebrity Q&As, meet & greets, launch parties at the Cameo House in Beverly Hills,” and “some events that have never been attempted before.” Holders will also have the opportunity to purchase “exclusive merch and beta Cameo products, and can access a member’s lounge on the company’s website.
“With Web3 rising as one of the most significant and promising trends in celebrity, athlete, and creator interactions and monetization, Cameo is exploring how it can be used to further our mission for fans and talent,” the company said. “Proceeds from the NFT launch will be invested back into the growth and engagement of the community and exploration of further web3 projects focused on fan/talent interactions.”
Cameo noted that security and web3 education are major priorities for the platform. “We’ve conducted a thorough security audit of our smart contracts, both internally and with third-party auditors, and we plan on providing educational resources for our users to protect their assets and ensure they have a secure experience,” they added.
Cameo also said it will be “pulling some familiar faces” over the next week to help educate its audience about NFTs and Web3.