From the Otherlands trailer.

The NFT hype is over. We look at what happened to two success stories. How did they invest their profits – and what happened to them?

The NFT bubble has officially burst for some time now.

Market trading volume is a shadow of its 2022 self. Newly issued NFTs, even from well-known personalities, do not automatically flush money into the wallet, new brands – companies, stars, celebrities – that make a name for themselves with an NFT have become rare, and of all the many generously promised functions and applications Hardly anything has materialized from NFTs so far. The Metaverse? GameFi? Where?

But like every bubble, this one has provided numerous startups with plenty of capital. The exciting question is not why the bubble burst and who lost how much – but what are the startups doing with the capital? Was it burned – or will something interesting come out of it?

To learn more about this, let’s look at two of the more popular collections of avatars, the Bored Apes Yacht Club and the Pudgy Penguins. What did they spend their earnings on? What are their plans? What do they make of the communities that have formed through NFTs?

Yuga Labs is accumulating more NFTs somewhat haphazardly

Let’s start with Yuga Labs, publishers of the Board Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection. This was the leading NFT series during the hype in 2022, but has since fallen sharply: the floor price has fallen from a high of 150 ETH to currently around 24 ETH. That’s still a lot for a token representing a JPEG file, but it’s far from the peak.

The Bored Apes Yacht Club website.

The Bored Apes Yacht Club website is designed like a virtual clubhouse. There are various communities that are spread around the world and also meet live. There is also a marketplace, “Made by Apes,” where owners of the NFTs offered art or designs for licensing. In addition to the Bored Apes, you can now also buy and use Mutant Apes, Dogs and alien machine creatures as NFTs. But it doesn’t seem like Yuga Labs is hitting a nerve.

The startup, which describes itself as a “leading lifestyle and media company operator,” has also acquired several NFT collections and studios in addition to the Bored Apes and their variations. These include, for example, the CryptoPunks and the MeeBits. The latest acquisition is PROOF, a startup that, in addition to the Proof collection, also publishes the pixelated avatars Moonbirds and Oddities, but also exhibits more serious art with Grails.

How Yuga Labs will further develop the NFT collections, or how the startup specifically wants to use them, is somewhat unclear. The “otherside” should be a binding bracket. This is the Metaverse from Yuga Labs: A hybrid between game, exhibition and virtual lounge, a massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPGs), but also a portal to the Web3. Players – or users – can buy parts of the world as NFTs and then manage or change them themselves. The aim is to create a world that is somehow everything because everyone can participate, a metaverse like Wikipedia.

A second screenshot from the Otherlands trailer

The Otherside was announced over a year ago but is not currently live. You can watch a trailer and reserve land with the “Otherdeeds”. In any case, it is unclear how all this is supposed to come together, how Yuga Labs wants to manage to bring together a critical mass of paying users with such a nebulous concept so that Otherland permanently remains more than a ghost world.

The ApeCoin DAO is only indirectly related to Yuga Labs. Apecoin is a fungible token linked to the Bored Apes and forms a DAO, a decentralized organization. She tries, somehow, to upgrade the Apes and to finance or create appropriate culture. However, there is no clear line to be seen here – which also applies to Yuga Labs in general.

After the success of the Bored Apes, the startup apparently got lost and failed to further develop its own product, the Bored Apes. There are many products, but no real, usable one.

From the Pudgy Penguins website

Pudgy Penguins brings Pudgy Toys to Walmart – with an exciting licensing model

The development of another NFT collection, namely the Pudgy Penguins, currently seems more promising. Their floor price has risen continuously over the last three months and has now reached more than 20 ETH. In the short term, this collection even overtook the Board Apes.

As the Apes fall, the Penguins rise. Why is that?

First of all, the publishers of Pudgy Penguins are sticking with them. In addition to the actual collection of 8,888 Pudgy Penguins, they have only released a side collection, the Lil Pudgys, 22,222 young penguins. The designers stayed in the frosty universe of penguins.

To do this, they managed to create a collection of real products from the Pudgy Penguin pattern, especially stuffed animals and toys. You can buy these “pudgy toys” on Amazon – and also at Walmart. More than 3,000 Walmart stores now offer more than 30 Pudgy Penguins toys. They cost between $3 and $30, and a QR code gives buyers access to Pudgy World, a planned metaverse of Pudgy Penguins.

What is most exciting, however, is the licensing model: the Pudgy Penguins sold at Walmart and Amazon correspond to those from the NFT collection. Accordingly, the NFT owners hold the rights to them. Especially for this purpose, the company Pudgy Penguins has developed OverpassIP, a platform that allows its NFTs to be made available for a license fee.

Pudgy Penguins or Lil Pudgy owners can currently submit their NFT to participate in another line of Pudgy Toys for Amazon and Walmart. The selected NFTs then receive a license fee of 10-20 percent. So when things are going well, you earn passively while a Walmart sells a Pudgy Penguin that looks exactly like the NFT you have in your wallet. You just have to be lucky enough to be selected from thousands of NFTs submitted.

This is all just a beginning. But it could be a step towards the copyright revolution that NFTs actually promised us.


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