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Stolen Indie Games Sold At Gamestop’s NFT Marketplace

Sclerotic Funko Pop retailer GameStop continues its reckless NFT marketplace pivot despite a series of embarrassing incidents. Less than two weeks after news broke that its service hosted an NFT “adaptation” of the famous image of 9/11 victims, Ars Technica reports that GameStop’s NFT marketplace has been facilitating the sale of unlicensed NFT copies of indie games.

 

An individual named Nathan Ello posted the NiFTy Arcade collection on GameStop’s marketplace and earned 8.4 ETH (about $14,000) in initial sales. Ello did not have a definitive license to use at least two games in his project, and it appears, but is not entirely certain, that he did not have a license to use three additional games included in NiFTy Arcade. Ello also did not have a licence to use the PICO-8 engine used in those five games.

Ultimately, NiFTy Arcade was removed from the GameStop marketplace and Ello’s account was suspended, but due to the diffuse nature of NFTs, users may still have access to copies of these unlicensed games and the creators may not have any recourse. Ello has offered to compensate the developers harmed by the NiFTy Arcade and has in the meantime revived the project in another marketplace with the promise that future games will “properly comply with all the terms of service of the NFT marketplace”.

This story is another example of the dubious behaviour promoted by NFT marketplaces. In the summer of 2021, the promises of NFTs to “own” artists’ work quickly gave way to reality, where their work is often exploited against their will. All this while the NFTs themselves continue to offer no tangible benefits or uses beyond profit generation, as Brazilian developer Mark Venturelli so eloquently put it in his presentation at the Brazilian International Game Festival last month. Nor is this the first time that NFT developers have converted existing games into blockchain tokens: the MetaGravity Retro Arcade Collection offers this treatment for some of the older, higher-budget games.

It’s particularly disgusting to see this mind-numbing NFT nonsense from GameStop when we remember that the company recently laid off a significant number of employees, including some staff from the long-running video game magazine Game Informer.

Source : PC Gamer

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