It's been a weird couple of years for GameStop, hasn't it? 2021 saw the company incur massive losses and resultant layoffs, then came the infamous GameStop stock fiasco, after which Reggie Fils-Aime joined the board to try and stabilize things, he then left on bad terms, and then the company decided to get into NFTs. If this sounds like a season of a Spanish soap opera, hold on, because the next arc is just about to begin.
It turns out that GameStop's NFT marketplace was also used to sell indie games without permission. As reported by Ars Technica, somebody named Nathan Ello used the marketplace to launch the NiFTy Arcade collection, earning 8.4 ETH in initial sales – that's about $14,000. However, as with most things regarding NFTs, it turned out that Ello did not have authorization to use two games from the collection, and a further three more are under suspicion. Additionally, they also did not have the license to use the PICO-8 engine from all five of the games.
"If people find value in these NFTs, that’s a bonus, but my intent is to create and showcase games that are playable within NFT marketplaces and within NFT wallets," he told Ars Technica in a rather vague statement. "Should someone want the convenience of playing the game directly from their wallet or their own profile page on the marketplace without having to navigate to mine, then they’re welcome to buy a copy."
GameStop has taken down the collection as of now, and Ello's account has been suspended from the marketplace as well. Ello has claimed that a few of the licensing related issues were his mistake, but one of the games, Galactic Wars, was listed under the Unlicense section.
Last month, we reported that one of the NFTs being sold on GameStop's marketplace was inspired by the chilling photograph of the "Falling Man", a victim of the 9/11 attack. The NFT replaced the victim with an image of an astronaut, falling in the same manner. The description read: "This one probably fell from the MIR station", referring to the space station crash in 1997. It cost 0.65 ETH, equivalent to $994.74 USD before it was removed by GameStop, after receiving severe criticism.