GameStop’s ImmutableX (IMX)-powered NFT marketplace has launched. Also turning non-fungible heads (or possibly whacking them with a chair) this week is the wrestling-themed Blockchain Brawlers.

Take your eye off the world of NFT gaming for half a second and you’re already behind.


Bringing the ‘next BILLION players to Web3 gaming’

This week, ImmutableX (IMX), a Web3 gaming-focused, Sydney-founded leading layer 2 scaling protocol on Ethereum, announced the official launch of the GameStop NFT marketplace.

The partnership between the two firms was announced back in February, and since then they’ve worked together on various initiatives, including a US$100 million grant for builders and creators of Web3 gaming, as well as the integration of ImmutableX tech into the GameStop (NYSE:GME) NFT marketplace’s wallet.

And what that does, is facilitate “100% gas-free and carbon-neutral minting and trading”, according to info provided to Stockhead. It’s something RPG auto battler game Illuvium’s land sale demonstrated effectively earlier this year.

The GameStop NFT marketplace has been operating as a public beta since July, but this official launch now gives “tens of millions” of GameStop players/customers access to Web3 games and “millions of NFT gaming assets”.

Examples of those games include top-tier Web3 titles currently being developed on the ImmutableX network, such as the popular Gods Unchained, Illuvium and Guild of Guardians.

“Our partnership with GameStop is an important step forward as Immutable brings the next billion players to web3 gaming,” said Robbie Ferguson, president and co-founder of ImmutableX, adding:

“[This week’s] launch of the GameStop NFT marketplace means that we can now provide access to millions of additional NFTs, more of the top web3 games being developed today, while maintaining a best-in-class experience for players.”


Blockchain Brawlers prepares launch of PvP mode

Fan of Magic: The Gathering, are you? No? Not that much of a nerd, eh? Never mind – you’ve heard of it, right? If not, we’ll describe it in one, long, overly convoluted sentence:

It’s a fantasy-themed physical (tabletop) and digital trading card game that those ’80s Stranger Things kids no doubt would’ve gone on to play as young adults, presuming they survived the perils of fictional town Hawkins.

It was first released into the hands of geeks globally in 1993 and was created by American mathematician, inventor and designer Richard Garfield. It’s since gone on to sell 20 billion cards, becoming a US$4 billion company in the process.

Anyway, Garfield recently cast a teleport spell and landed himself in the metaversal world of Web3/NFT gaming – with the wrestling-themed, blockchain-enabled PvP (player vs player) card game Blockchain Brawlers.

And it’s very close to launching as a PvP title, in collaboration with Tyranno Studios.

In fact, the PvP game was all set to launch this week, but we’ve just got wind of the following in the past hour…

Never mind. Delays happen, especially in the world of game design. It can even be seen as a good thing – there is very likely a team of absolute perfectionists working on getting it right as we speak.


Built to ‘resonate with the wrestling world’

The game pitches itself as “the rowdiest Play-to-Own game in the Metaverse” and is built on another notable gaming/NFT-focused blockchain – WAX.

Seemingly mindful of the negative view sections of the mainstream gaming world still have for NFTs, Garfield has emphasised that the game’s PvP mode will avoid “pay-to-win” mechanics and will focus on gameplay and economic-opportunity equality.

“What persuaded me to provide a game was Tyranno’s willingness to do a project that is totally not a tradable card game, where all players have the same cards and material for play,” explained Garfield.

“Art may vary, of course, but the game is consistent from player to player,” added the gaming-card godfather.

“This is important to me because so much of blockchain gaming is tied up in making the game itself an object of speculation, and that runs against the interest of people who actually want to see games played.”

That said, in line with Blockchain Brawlers’ vision of a fully player-controlled decentralised economy, the PvP mode itself is accompanied by a crafting element that allows holders of special NFT land plots, called Brawl-O-Seums, to craft in-game items based on difficulty and their experience levels.

The Brawl-O-Seums will apparently act a bit like virtual “factories”, through which owners can produce virtual in-game moves and NFT assets they can trade, exchange, gift, upgrade, or use themselves.

“The game I have made for them is a simple game with some deep play and bluffing that I hope will resonate with the wrestling world,” Garfield added.

Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer of Tyranno Studios said, “Where this game is headed is in line with other great esports gaming experiences. We have a matchmaking ranking (MMR) system in place and soon league play will start where we will be hosting global competitions with incredible prizing.

“We expect these events to be live streamed and sponsored in the future, replete with shoutcasters,” added the studio boss.