Long time no talk apes; u/sharkbaitlol back at it again this time to talk about where I believe GME is headed and why it’s potentially bigger than we think (and I don’t just mean the MOASS).
A few months ago, we were introduced to nft.gamestop.com; we’re still unsure of what this exactly is and what it will entail – but I think I might have an idea of what it is GameStop is attempting, and if I’m right, this is going to change everything. Not just for gaming, not just for ecomm, but for all IPs (intellectual properties) in the future. The MOASS will just be a fucking pitstop.
With that being said, lets get into this:
Lets break this down into parts for ease of understand of how I got to this point:
- GME Past — A GameStop history lesson
- NFTs — GME + NFT = ?
- GME Future — Tesla vs Amazon
- GMERICA — Brick by Brick
Section 1 — GME Past — A GameStop history lesson
As some of you may recall, I mentioned that I operated as a data analyst at GameStop about half a decade ago. There were many glaring problems that were beginning to arise; the partnerships that we held with various vendors such as Nintendo, PlayStation and Microsoft were becoming tarnished. Year over year, they saw that their digital revenue was growing exponentially through their own digital stores (where they made 100% profit off game sales) versus having to deal with GameStop as a middle man and split the margin (of which were already razor thin). The general margin for a new game was anywhere between 10-15% which means for a new $70 game, GameStop would be walking away with $7-$10.5 bucks. Microsoft was one of the few partners that legit gave a shit about us, sending ample marketing materials, keeping good relationships with store managers, etc. They even gave each employee a free Xbox-one once! Sony and Nintendo had largely turned their backs on GameStop as I recall. The feeling was they worked with us because they had to.
As if this wasn’t enough; this was the same time frame that Amazon bought Twitch and began offering 15% discounts on pre-order items via “Twitch Prime”. I personally was really concerned with this development, as by offering 15% discounts it meant that Amazon was giving up 100% of the margin they were making on new game sales. This was not something we could compete with. I personally would spend a good chunk of my time pitching new loyalty perks to the executive team, to ensure that people would find the value in increasing average basket sizes (buying a game and a funko for example) to ensure they wouldn’t churn to Amazon. I was one of the main driving forces as to why the loyalty card offers a discount on LOOT products.
As a result GameStop began grasping onto the items and categories where they made the most amount of general margin and had less general competition, which was in LOOT (toys, t-shirts, etc) and USED (refurbished games and consoles). This is where they felt they could still compete, and potentially dig out for the mounting debt, and dropping stock price. It is in my personal belief, that hedge fund’s roadmap to kill GameStop started around this era. It wasn’t long until we began to see the stock price plummet to the $20 range for the first time (this was in 2016). The sentiment however internally was quite contrary to what was being propagated funny enough. Reassurances were given that the profits were healthy (they were) and that the plummet of stock price from $46 in Oct of 2015 to $25 by January of 2016 was not something we should be concerned about.
I will go on record to say that having been closely involved with with business performance, I can personally attest that the sales and profits remained within a couple of percent of that what we saw the previous year. This much of a drop in valuation was completely inorganic IMO. It was at this point that I was genuinely concerned about the future of the company, watching it’s valuation slowly get chipped away and employees get demoralized; that I decided it was time for me to move away from the brand I loved. Ex-corporate employees that we hired from Toys’r’us and Sears brought even more doom and gloom onto our situation reminiscing on the familiarity of feeling.
After a couple of CEO flips between then and early-mid 2020, we now introduce two new characters to the story. RC + DFV. This would mark the beginning of a new era for GME.
RC cleaned house and brought in an entirely new board and team; the individuals selected were not by accident and sets us up for what we might be looking at here.
Section 2 — NFTs — GME + NFT = ?
NFTS NFTS, GETCH YOUR NFTS HERE.
Okay we get it, NFTs are everywhere – we have punks, apes, kitties and even penguins. Why is this being hyped up so much again?
So what are NFTs?
From Wikipedia directly:
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files. Access to any copy of the original file, however, is not restricted to the buyer of the NFT. While copies of these digital items are available for anyone to obtain, NFTs are tracked on blockchains to provide the owner with a proof of ownership that is separate from copyright.
Long story short, essentially you’re able to attain ‘ownership’ over an digital asset or intellectual property. As they mention above, photos, videos, music, movies, tv shows, podcasts, games and more. This concept alone is fucking huge. This all runs on the backend of Ethereum which you may have heard of, commonly referred to when talking about Crypto alongside Bitcoin.
As of right now this NFT market place exists in a variety of different places, but one of the few main locations where we can buy/sell/trade these NFTs are on a site called opensea.io. We see a bunch of different “collections” of NFTs being sold/bought and the entire market collectively is estimated to be worth over $1.5 billion as of July 2021 (I believe they are well above this now as of end of August).
Some of the most top traded NFTs right now:
So where does GME come into all this
GameStop released a microsite months back at the domain nft.gamestop.com. We found there a minigame featured a banana cat, and a link to a wallet. As it had turned out – this wallet contained a couple of Easter eggs for us apes, including a “Game On Anon” message in the contract; and the mention of a new type of GME token built on top of Ethereum.
Now it’s hard to compare this to anything since it’s a new concept; but something like CryptoKitties can give us some hints.
While this is innocent looking enough, it’s important to note that this is one of the world’s first blockchain games. As they mention “each CryptoKitty is one-of-a-kind and 100% owned by you. It cannot be replicated, taken away, or destroyed”.
This concept I believe stands as a trojan horse for GameStop’s potential “MetaVerse”, which will aim to encapsulate a game or experience on a much larger scale. The crazy part is this is just the beginning.
NFT games look to showcase an asset in a digital environment, one where we don’t just get to look at our pretty NFT art; but actually interact with them too. Here’s a screenshot from a NFT game called “EVAVERSE” that is playing around with this concept right now:
Essentially you can buy or get awarded a new board, that actually stands as an asset that you will be able to buy/sell on a NFT marketplace. Cool part is, each board has their own stats/visual appearances.
I know some of you may be thinking; why would I ever buy something that isn’t real? It’s the same reason we go to movies, pay for Netflix or listen to music – we don’t own any of these products physically either. They’re intellectual properties that we get to experience.
This concept isn’t a stretch either, here’s a screenshot of the Steam marketplace for digital knives you can buy in the game Counter-Strike that has thrived for years. Yes, those are prices in real world USD dollars. And yes, people care about them. These aren’t even the most expensive items in the game haha. Seriously just ask your 12 year old nephew if they’d prefer a physical t-shirt to wear, or a Fortnite skin.
As if this concept wasn’t already crazy enough, I personally believe GameStop can take it even further. Not just a market place for items in games, but a market place for:
ALL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.
DRM-Free digital games that you can buy/sell anytime you want (a massive limitation with today’s digital shops directly from PlayStation, Microsoft, Nintendo), Movies, E-Books, Music, Tv shows, podcasts, paintings, 3-D renders, stocks, deeds. The ambition of becoming not only the fucking KING-KONG of not only eCommerce, but intellectual property too.
The Amazon of IPs powered by NFT.
Sounds like building a marketplace on this scale could be complicated…
We need to look no further than GameStop’s own, Matthew Finestone – head of blockchain. Prior to GameStop, Mr. Finestone spent just over 3 years working at Shanghai based “Loopring”.
This is essentially (I’m sorry Matt if I butcher this), infrastructure and user-facing products for the future of marketplaces; an almost “Steam Marketplace”-esque approach to Ethereum.
- High “Gas Costs”
- NFTs are expensive as a result
Ethereum comes with it’s own flaws and limitations; the high level of security and fees associated with encrypting/decrypting transactions means additional electricity costs (“Gas Fees” is what they’re known as in the NFT world). When users buy or sell NFTs currently, anywhere between a 10-25% (varies depending on size of transaction) surcharge can apply just for the gas fees alone. Some artists may choose to upcharge to compensate for this, while others will simply allow it to eat into their margins.
Interestingly Loopring, in a massive progression for Ethereum – just this week announced that they’ll be progressing NFTs to L2 (layer-2) infrastructure. This will allow “anyone to mint and trade NFTs instantly and gas-free”
From the Loopring team themselves:
Due to the removal of a high gas cost, this is going to open the door to AMAZINGLY cheap digital assets to be bought/sold. It will not be a market dedicated to just some wealthy holders. It’ll open up for everyone, and for everything at the best execution price.
Foobar btw, has worked(ing) with the GameStop team for their NFT offering; being one of the first creators in the NFT space having minted “CryptoPunks”, the first and highest valued NFT collection.
BUT IT DOESN’T STOP THERE
I personally believe that the OTC market (over-the-counter stocks) will be the first to get swallowed up by the NFT marketplace. Interestingly, have a look at the top traded assets over there ? $725 million a day.
This leads up into our next section…
Section 3 — GME Future — Tesla vs Amazon
**Disclaimer: This section contains a lot of my personal speculation**
Now we finally arrive as to why I believe all this is happening. It is not by chance that half the GME team is ex-amazon, and that RC has hired dedicated teams for BlockChain.
Contrary to popular belief, over 50% of Amazon’s total operating income comes from AWS (Amazon Web Services). That’s right, not just from selling products; but from server hosting. Now when we think about GameStop, remember how I mentioned how we had to go on defense back in 2016 due to Twitch Prime? An NFT marketplace is a sure fire way not for GameStop to defend themselves,
but to also go on the OFFENSE and start their own WARPATH
And I personally think that GameStop is not alone in this. Enter Tesla.
This theory started to really click for me after watching Tesla’s AI day just last week, and no I don’t mean the Tesla Bot.
We’re talking about Tesla new “Dojo 1” chip.
So what’s it do?
Take a look again at the bottom right of that screenshot; “5x smaller footprint”, “1.3x better performance/W”. Remember when Elon tweeted this out back in May, shortly after Tesla pulled out of crypto?
I should note, that while this is a NPU (neural processing unit designed for neural networks), it is comprised of a 7nm semiconductor node, with 362 teraflops of processing power. This thing hauls ass and can be easily repurposed. But that’s not all, during the presentation Tesla made specific reference to the modular design of these chips.
It is in my belief that these chips will be utilized to create competition to not only AWS (and create their own warehouses for hosting), but also potentially create the foundations for the future of NFT transactions. Driving “gas costs” with a “smaller footprint”, without “drive(ing) a massive increase in fossil fuel use”.
This basically sets up the scene for what I believe will be a two pronged attack from GME + Tesla to take down Amazon. GME from the direction of eComm + NFT marketplace, Tesla from the hosting and tech front.
I think we haven’t seen the end of this just yet, but as crazy as it may sound I believe that a GME + TSLA partnership could exist as it stands to benefit both parties in huge ways.
It’s clear that both RC + Elon believe in this technology. Only time will tell how this manifests.
And of course, it’d be cool as hell to play games while your car drives you around.
Section 4 — GMERICA — Brick by Brick
The future of what NFTs represent, will be the starting point for what I expect to be the dawn of a new era. The same way humanity changed in a big way at the start of the industrial revolution, I suspect will begin to happen again in a few short months/years.
It should be noted, that every time this has happened in human history; the transitionary period always brought on confusion, panic, and financial hardships onto the economy. It so happens that with all the research done here at r/superstonk; it appears that this is looming again.
Now I’m really going to need you to use your imagination for where this could be headed in the next decade.
Imagine buying an NFT, that you could put up on your wall using Augmented Reality and showing it off to guests. Or displaying a cool trophy head of a raid boss you and your friends killed in a game, hanging up in the corner of your living room.
This is not as outlandish as you may think.
In the picture above, we see someone having a meeting using Augmented Reality tech from Microsoft. They’ve been working on something called “hololens” which is essentially similar to an experience to when we use AR on our phones for games/apps like Pokemon Go but in the format of a headset/glasses that you wear.
Now it’s funny that Microsoft specifically gets brought up here, considering that GME has a partnership with them. Funny enough we’ve seen plenty of references to Microsoft over the last few months… Maybe coincidence, maybe not ?♂️
It is not by chance that we’re seeing new iPhones come with new LiDAR tech that improves AR. I believe that as an extension to the “metaverse” it will spill over into the real world. NFT items will not just exist digitally, but will be something we can observe in the reality as well.
TLDR; I personally believe the MOASS is exactly the thing that could fund an entirely new market for almost everything. I believe that NFTs are going the change the world in a very big way, with proper valuations for intellectual properties (ie. the Scarlett Johansson vs Disney fiasco), that will potentially encompass games, items in games, movies, E-Books, Music, Tv shows, podcasts, paintings, 3-D renders, stocks, and even deeds. This is absolutely something we should be excited for!
I believe GME is leading this warpath, and the MOASS is just a pitstop.
If you like thinking about the future, and what it could possibly entail; check me out on Twitter where I post things that I find interesting on a regular basis! “Dare to dream bigger darling”
Power to the players,