Yuga Labs’ Ape Metaverse Ambition: Towards a Web3 Generation Marvel Universe

Yuga Labs' Ape Metaverse Ambition: Towards a Web3 Generation Marvel Universe

As one of the most influential players in the NFT industry today, how did Yuga Labs come into being? Why are they so successful? How will the ape Metaverse be created next?

After acquiring CryptoPunks first, issuing coins, issuing airdrops, and warming up the game, Yuga Labs, the development company of BAYC (Boring Ape Yacht Club), has built a lot of momentum these days.

“Yuga”, this crappy name comes from a wizard in the game “The Legend of Zelda” who can turn himself and others into 2D artworks. The founder of BAYC used it as the name of the studio, implying the extraordinary creativity of the team .

On March 12, the news that Yuga Labs acquired the CryptoPunks and Meebits series IP instantly ignited the NFT circle.The two leading blue-chip IPs have merged, and they have all been included in one bag. It can be said that Yuga Labs became famous by “purchasing” it.

What is more noteworthy is the reason why Larva Labs, the developer of CryptoPunks, is willing to sell. Larva Labs stated in the acquisition statement that Yuga Labs is better at operating and developing PFP (Profile Pics, profile pictures) projects and its community ecology than itself. . This judgment is also consistent with the impression of the insiders on the operation status of the two projects.

The acquisition of star NFT IPs such as CryptoPunks and Meebits is just a microcosm of Yuga Labs’ business operation capabilities. As the PFP-type NFT gameplay is widely known, Yuga Labs will extend the operational capabilities around the brand to a farther distance. On March 12, Yuga Labs introduced in a joint announcement that Yuga is building a Universe (universe), and BAYC is the center of the universe. Yuga Labs financing promotional materials obtained by The Block show that Yuga is launching a game-centric Metaverse called “MetaRPG” to expand the world of BAYC and invite people other than ape avatars to join.

ApeCoin will be the economic system currency of this ape Metaverse. During the daytime on March 17, ApeCoin has not yet officially launched, but it has gathered strong momentum in the secondary market. After the launch on the evening of the same day, the price of ApeCoin rose to a maximum of $18. As of press time, its price was $13.2, with a diluted market value of $13.2 billion.

Although the “Ape Universe” of “MetaRPG” is still in the early stage of construction, ApeCoin DAO board member, chain game developer and investor Animoca Brands announced the transition of its action-adventure mobile game Benji Bananas to P2E mode on the day ApeCoin was launched , which supports players to exchange earned tokens for ApeCoin; Animoca subsidiary nWay also announced that ApeCoin will be used as the economic system currency in new games developed in cooperation with BAYC.

Yuga Labs' Ape Metaverse Ambition: Towards a Web3 Generation Marvel Universe

nWay released a teaser image of the P2E game

In addition, on March 11, BAYC and Animoca released an invitation to the closed beta of a new mysterious project. According to BAYC, this mysterious project started construction in August last year and has been under construction for seven months. It will be opened by Animoca. The first stage. According to the user registration page, the internal test needs to submit identity information for KYC. In terms of official announcement, development cycle and participation threshold, this will be the highlight of Yuga’s “Ape Universe”. According to The Block report, this may be Yuga Labs’ upcoming virtual land sale, but this Speculation has not been officially confirmed.

On March 17, the Ape Metaverse seemed to “rise from the ground” in one day. In fact, the founders of Yuga Labs had a very low-key spirit and ambition at the beginning of their conception.

Anonymous founders and the birth of BAYC

Gordon Goner and Gargamel, two literary youths in their early 20s who grew up in Miami, did not write serious works. In 2017, they started to make a fortune in cryptocurrencies, and then “lost everything” because of leverage, so they began to want to work in this circle. Do what I can do. At the beginning of 21, on the eve of NFT summer, I was inspired by the works of my predecessors. I contacted two engineer friends, and the four of them worked together on a monkey-themed NFT project, which was accidentally sold.

The above is a “one-sentence story” told by the four co-founders of Yuga Labs.

Gargamel, Gordon, Tomato, and Sass were their codenames in the crypto space until February of this year. At the beginning of this year, they, who have been anonymous, were revealed to the world by a report from BuzzFeed, which was accused by many crypto circles of not respecting privacy. Despite their preference for anonymity and a low profile, they do not refuse to talk about themselves. In a Coindesk report last September, Gargamel talked about many of his personal stories with Gordon Goner:

Greg Solano, pseudonym “Gargamel”, works as an editor and book reviewer on some literary websites, graduated from the University of Virginia with an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree. He co-authored a book about World of Warcraft with a game designer.

Wylie Aronow, “Gordon Goner”, lived in Chicago for a while and took an MFA in creative writing before dropping out due to health problems. Later he worked part-time as a high-frequency cryptocurrency trader.

When talking about BAYC’s inspiration, they always mention their upbringing and literary interests. They grew up in the hot South, drinking beer and meeting through friends of friends in Miami’s “dirty bars.” They all enjoyed the work of writers Hemingway, David Foster Wallace and philosopher Wittgenstein.

The inspiration for BAYC consists of two parts. According to Yuga Labs, people in the Crypto community like to call themselves ape, so what do these apes do? The image of Miami’s “dirty bar”-like languid, laid-back, free subcultural space lingered in the duo’s mind, and they imagined eventually wealthy and boring apes partying at a secret club in the swamps and messing around in the bathroom graffiti.

Gordon Goner and Gargamel set the original story tone for NFTs: apes, wealth freedom, the looming boredom of existential crises, debauchery.

Then BAYC’s lead designer, Seneca, enriched the image of the apes: half-open world-weary eyes, sharp silhouettes and color schemes, raw bodies and strangely sophisticated attire.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Seneca’s illustrator friend described Seneca’s style as “pop surreal” — a combination of personal and pop elements, using organic, flowing, dreamy shapes, and surreal color schemes that make The works not only have a large audience market because of their popularity, but also touch everyone who sees their hearts in NFT because of their personal emotions.

From Seneca’s ape-art designs, Gargamel said, they saw the kind of “emotion” they wanted. “I could feel a whole emotion being conveyed,” Gargamel said.

A doer who takes into account both community operation and business operation

In early February, according to the Financial Times, Yuga Labs was seeking a round of financing at a valuation of $5 billion. The investors negotiated include well-known venture capital institutions such as a16z. Yuga Labs touts its comprehensive Metaverse plans to investors, including two virtual land sales in March and August, a virtual world game called “MetaRPG,” and an in-game app, according to the Yuga Labs financing pitch obtained by The Block. Store and ApeCoin.

According to reports, Yuga Labs will sell these virtual lands in the form of NFTs, and different plots are connected to different plots in “MetaRPG” (plots may contain different natural resources, cultural relics, rare characters, etc.). The parcels totaled 200,000 and were sold in two installments in March and August, from which Yuga expects to make $178 million in material. Yuga will also reserve a portion of the land for the team itself.

“We want to build something that expands the world of BAYC, while also inviting the larger NFT community (and those excluded from BAYC membership) to join,” Yuga Labs explains the significance of this strategy.

Through land sales, combined with the plan and chain games launched by Animoca, and other chain games that announced the adoption of ApeCoin, the prototype of Yuga Labs’ ape Metaverse has taken shape. As a result, Yuga Labs can further release and expand the community operation capabilities and business operation capabilities it has accumulated in the past, closely unite the NFT community around itself, and explore more possibilities and values ​​of NFT.

In fact, Yuga Labs may be the person with the most Metaverse awareness and ambition, and the ability to realize the bold vision, whether it is the “community” that was fully imagined at the beginning of NFT design or during the operation of BAYC’s community brand. .

On the one hand, Gordon Goner and Gargamel, the co-founders of BAYC’s inspiration, are deeply immersed in the fantasy world in terms of their own descriptions and experiences, with abundant vision and imagination. Aside from the form of media, making games and writing novels are the same thing, and the core is to create a “universe”.

On the other hand, Yuga Labs may be one of the few project teams in the Crypto circle that speaks less and does more. It has a professional style of conduct and a high degree of compliance awareness. It can be called “Coinbase of NFT”.

In the NFT frenzy that started in the spring of 2021, in the face of CryptoPunks’ “creation elders” attitude, the BAYC latecomer game, NFTGo data shows that as the crypto market entered a dormant period, the average price of the CryptoPunks series fell by 61.40%, while BAYC’s The valuation is basically unaffected by the market situation. As of March 15, the average price of this series has increased by 88% compared with three months ago. After the recent launch of ApeCoin, the transaction volume of BAYC has increased by 16 times within 24 hours. The market is hot.

One of the well-known reasons behind this is Yuga Labs’ clear and comprehensive IP business operation capabilities.Compared with Larva Labs’ insistence on the orthodoxy of CryptoPunks IP and the vague attribution of IP commercial rights after the sale of NFT, Yuga Labs has clearly given each BAYC holder full IP commercial use rights since the beginning. This move is in line with the so-called Web3’s spirit of “owning” and “co-creation” in a virtual sense. To be honest, Yuga Labs is also taking advantage of each holder’s personal re-creation and dissemination potential to provide BAYC’s Brand empowerment.

In December last year, 33 BAYC holders cooperated with a Taiwanese e-commerce group to launch 3D three-dimensional dolls, fashion apparel and other peripherals. In terms of music, there are already Ape Music Group (Ape In Productions/Timbaland) brands, and “10KTF” focuses on BAYC IP-related digital clothing retail.

An investment invitation letter related to Yuga Labs obtained by Chain Catcher shows that Yuga Labs itself attaches great importance to the UGC (user-generated content) model, and “BAYC vigorously uses this movement to develop the community,” the invitation letter said.

According to NFT Labs’ observations, there is indeed a connection between BAYC buyers that can be called a “community”. The article quoted a user’s evaluation that everyone in BAYC will connect with each other and pay attention to each other, creating a trend of “Ape follow Ape”.

Yuga’s proactive operational capabilities are also exceptionally professional. Looking at BAYC’s Twitter, it can be found thatsince the beginning of BAYC’s pre-sale, Yuga Labs has emphasized the “membership” of NFT holders, and has personally produced physical brand peripherals (such as peaked caps, T-shirts, etc.), building IP and community Ambience.

Yuga Labs' Ape Metaverse Ambition: Towards a Web3 Generation Marvel Universe

In April 2021, during the BAYC pre-sale period, members will sell physical goods

This operation is not limited to online. From October 31st to November 6th last year, Yuga Labs held the first offline gathering mainly for BAYC members-APE FEST in Manhattan, New York. During the day, they engage in serious discussions on a similar theme “Fintech and NFTs: Risk and Regulation,” and at night they throw a fantasy and tech-savvy party on a real yacht on the Hudson River.

Compared with the loose connections among members of online discord chat groups, there is no doubt that Yuga Labs knows that what can truly build a “community” and capture users’ minds must be face-to-face communication and feelings. These are the “success recipes” that the anonymous founders of Yuga Labs rarely talk about.

Will the Ape Metaverse be the Marvel Universe of the Web3 generation?

In the aforementioned investment invitation letter, Yuga Labs stated in his self-introduction that he positioned the world of BAYC as the Marvel universe of the Web3 generation. Can the future of the monkey Metaverse be expected like this?

It still needs to be analyzed from the initial cultural orientation of BAYC. BAYC monkeys are boring because of their wealth. Essentially, BAYC and its ape Metaverse are more attractive to the “elite” in the modern context, which is in line with the money and speculative fanaticism in the Crypto community. From this feature alone, it is expected to enjoy a wide audience both inside and outside the Crypto circle.

But on the other hand, the ape Metaverse is also constrained by this property itself and how it works. IPs such as Marvel, DC and Disney can be popular all over the world. They are free and open at the beginning of commercial operation, while BAYC has emphasized strict “membership system” from the beginning, and entering its community has high purchase costs (as of March On the 18th, the floor price of BAYC on Opensea has reached 92.7 ETH, about 2.59 million US dollars). It can be said that the world of the monkey Metaverse is “noble” and closed.

On the other hand, the image of a wealthy elite is not necessarily the most prevalent cultural temperament within the crypto community. On the contrary, the Crypto circle has attracted specialized nerds (note: nerds), tech nerds, and other niche subcultural communities. The rise of alternative NFT projects mfers reflects the “proletariat” in the context of postmodernism. Lay flat and rebel mentality.

Nevertheless, due to the successful operation of the IP and the professional capabilities of the founding team, the monkey Metaverse with BAYC as the core is still one of the most anticipated Metaverses in the crypto bear market.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/yuga-labs-ape-metaverse-ambition-towards-a-web3-generation-marvel-universe/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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