Something bad is happening over in the Bored Ape Yacht Club, the year-old NFT collection owned by blockchain tech firm Yuga Labs. Bad things seem to happen almost daily in the NFT sphere and the cryptocurrency community at large, which are both unfortunately frequent targets of multimillion-dollar hacking initiatives and equally expensive scammy hijinks. Yuga Labs most recently contributed to the blood in the water with its Otherdeed for Otherside collection, an NFT-related gaming initiative which saw buyers paying thousands in failed transactions and later, once again, becoming scam targets.
On OpenSea, Yuga Labs described its Otherdeed collection as “the key to claiming land in Otherside,” a play-to-earn gaming project supported by the new token ApeCoin. Described as a massively multiplayer online role-playing game in a report by The Verge, there are very few publicly available details on Otherside, which was intended to launch in April but has not yet materialized. Some reports have been throwing around the word “metaverse,” but from Otherside’s fairly obtuse (though, credit where it’s due, high production-value) trailer, it’s unclear what exactly the project will entail aside from bringing together holders of NFTs of varying origin like CryptoPunks and World of Women in addition to BAYC.
Though details on the BAYC video game are still pending, the project has so far done a poor job of winning anyone’s affection. The Otherdeed sale, launched on April 30 and which Yuga Labs called “the largest NFT mint in history,” created buildup on the blockchain. The NFTs could only be minted in ApeCoin, though that coin exists on the ethereum blockchain, so ethereum’s transactional “gas fees” were hiked up by demand. Some buyers had to pay up to $14,000 in gas fees, and others were still charged with gas even though their Overdeed transactions failed.
“We are aware that some users had failed transactions due to the incredible demand being forced through Ethereum’s bottleneck,” Yuga Labs said on Twitter. “For those of you affected, we appreciate your willingness to build alongside us – know that we’ve got your back and will be refunding your gas.”
Then, on May 4, Yuga Labs announced it had “refunded gas fees to everyone who made a transaction that failed due to network conditions caused by the mint.” Multiple replies indicate that not everyone has received a refund, however. And just to really mash BAYC fans’ faces into the ground, a fake Otherside website conned some holders out of NFTs valued at $6.2 million.
Otherdeed NFTs look like elaborate Minecraft blocks with organic, earthy designs, and, um, this one looks like it’s covered in cartoon cum. The art reinforces the idea that buyers are nabbing land plots with their purchase, though we don’t yet know how relevant land ownership is to Otherside as a project. The NFTs also include descriptions of their image’s artifact, N resource, E resource, W resource, S resource, and Koda, though, again, Yuga Labs has not yet released details on what those descriptors mean for NFT holders or Otherside as a game. Well, except for “Koda.” Those are sprite-like original characters—you can spot one flying the Otherside trailer’s protagonist over volcanoes. You know, Kodas are exactly the kind of Web3 innovation one dreams of seeing in gaming. Mushroom guys worth thousands of dollars for no good reason except, perhaps, they slightly resemble KAWS figures. This is the future, people!
In spite of the huge financial losses some holders and would-be buyers have experienced, the real Otherdeed collection continues to see sales. According to the NFT ranking site CryptoSlam!, Otherdeed has generated Yuga Labs $791,688,432 or 271,425 ETH in sales so far. And on the official Otherside Twitter, the conversation seems to be dominated by people talking about their Kodas and how some of them can fart. All is right in the world again.