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🟣 Yuga Changed Its CEO… Again

PLUS: They Bought Moonbirds

GM DOers! 😎

The biggest NFT company (Yuga Labs) just made some big moves. A questionable leadership change and a big-time acquisition.

After serving for about a year as CEO, Daniel Alegre, formerly of Google and Activision Blizzard, was succeeded by Yuga's co-founder, Greg Solano.

This followed Yuga’s shocking move from last Friday, when they acquired PROOF, the company behind Moonbirds. 😲

Today, we’ll talk about how Yuga Labs’ vision & trajectory will change with the new CEO & what we can expect from the NFT giant moving forward.

Stick around until the end, as we’re also going to highlight the NFT Of The Month. 👀

Let’s dive in.

🔮 The New Yuga Vision

In October 2023, Daniel Alegre, the former CEO of Yuga, made the radical decision to streamline the company by letting go of several team members. 

This move aimed to narrow the company focus to a few key areas:

Community Engagement: Daniel's goal was to strengthen the bond with the community. 

This included supporting community members in launching their own businesses using Ape designs and ensuring events like ApeFest were successful.

Art Promotion: Efforts were directed towards increasing the popularity of CryptoPunks and Meebits, with plans to exhibit CryptoPunks in museums.

Developing Otherside: The Otherside project was a priority, with the vision of creating an engaging online space for all Yuga's collections and communities.

Forming Major Partnerships: Yuga sought collaborations with major brands to extend its recognition beyond the cryptocurrency sphere.

We wrote all about Daniel’s vision here

But how has this changed now that Greg is back at the helm?

1. “Making Yuga Labs crypto-centric.”

This is vague. We don’t know what this will mean in practice. 

However, Yuga’s former focus was on establishing partnerships with the likes of Gucci and getting CryptoPunks in museums. 

Is that going to be dropped, since it’s not ‘crypto-centric’? Very likely, but that remains to be seen. 

Overall, I get the vibe that Yuga is ditching the serious business look and moving away from the corporate vibe it picked up over the last year.

2. “Focusing on gaming.”

Yuga has always stated that they’re not a gaming company. However, they always continued to create games like Dookey Dash, which was a marvelous success.

Greg made it clear that this is something the company will continue to focus on. 

He also highlighted that the focus on the community remains the same – Yuga Labs will continue to empower BAYC holders to create cool stuff through initiatives like Made By Apes & conferences like ApeFest.

But what’s Yuga’s ultimate goal? 🤔

🎙 Is the NFT Bull Market Back?

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🤖 The Ultimate Goal: Otherside – But There’s FUD

Otherside is Yuga Labs’ main focus – a huge multi-year project of building a metaverse – the so-called “livingroom of web3”.

A place where everybody (web3 and non-web3 peeps) can hang out, play games and flex their digital collectibles. 

In a press release, Eric Reid (General Manager at Otherside) said that to achieve this, they’re creating a type of MMO (massively multiplayer online) game.

This means that the plan is to start with building basic features and games (like Dookey Dash) to build a foundation, and over time, to connect all of these into something bigger – Otherside.

In this process, Yuga Labs would rely a lot on user generated content, similar to what Roblox is doing today.

But this wasn’t taken well – it was underwhelming for a lot of people, especially Otherdeed (land in Otherside) holders.

Even the biggest NFT people are criticizing Yuga for their approach.

So… If Yuga’s ultimate goal is to build a metaverse, why are they acquiring other NFT companies?

🤔 What is Yuga Actually Up To?

Yuga Labs, acquired PROOF in an all-stock deal. This means Yuga didn't pay cash but gave PROOF's owners shares in Yuga Labs instead.

In return for giving up equity, Yuga received the PROOF collective, Moonbirds, Oddities, and the Grails, along with PROOF’s entire team AND PROOF’s balance sheet (probably 10s of millions in cash). 

All in all, this deal was brilliant for Yuga as they got an iconic brand, along with a team & millions of dollars in cash, in exchange for some equity.

But what's Yuga aiming for long-term and what hurdles do they face?

Managing Multiple NFTs: Yuga owns Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC), CryptoPunks, Meebits, Otherdeed (land in Otherside) and now all of PROOF’s NFTs (I’m also probably missing a few other collections).

The challenge? They need to ensure all of these collections are successful. Only that in and of itself is extremely difficult to achieve because there’s no playbook for this.

Building a Roblox-like Experience: Developing the Roblox of web3 (Otherside) is ambitious. 

The challenge? Achieving Roblox's level of success required investing billions, underscoring just how big the task really is.

Be a Gaming Studio: For Otherside to succeed, Yuga needs to build an entire ecosystem of games, so that people have stuff to do in this metaverse.

That means that Yuga will need to act as a gaming studio.

The challenge? The gaming industry is dominated by giants like Ubisoft, Take-Two and Electronic Arts (EA) who have billions of dollars in their warchest, and even they are struggling to ship out top-tier games consistently. 

Ultimately, Yuga is trying to do 3 very different and difficult things all at the same time, so chances are they’re spreading themselves too thin.

They're either unsure of what they're doing or they might become one of the top companies, though the chances of the latter are quite slim.

Regardless, we hope they succeed, as it would be great to see a web3 native company crush it. 💪

P.S.- Since everyone has 0 clarity around Yuga Labs as a company, we’re planning on doing a mega PRO report analyzing their strategy, their assets, their business model & their long-term vision. 

Is that something you’d like to read? Reply w/ a Yes or No!

The NFT Of The Month is... The Plague of Frogs

The Plague of Frogs is a 10K collection that aims to develop a system to decentralize opportunities in the web3 space.

They aim to do this by providing grants and developing their own products, with a core focus on building utility.

The Plague of Frogs was recommended by our community member Specktacular, and they won the poll with over 75% of the votes.

Next week, we're doing Token Of The Month (AI edition), where we'll feature 4 AI tokens suggested by our community. Reply to this email with your suggestion on which coins we should pick.

Thanks for reading. And remember, you're strong, you’re powerful, you’re alpha!

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not financial advice. Conduct your own research and consult a financial advisor before making investment decisions or taking any action based on the content.

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