Blockchain games developer and investor Animoca Brands has partnered with Bored Ape Yacht Club creators Yuga Labs to use the non-fungible token’s (NFTs) intellectual property (IP) in a play-to-earn game to launch in the second quarter fo 2022.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) launched earlier this year as a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs of ape-like characters with over 170 different possible traits that vary in scarcity and consequently value. Each Ape originally sold for .08 ETH, but the collection is now estimated to be worth $3 billion and a single NFT was sold for $3.4 million at Sotheby’s.
Noting the popularity and “trendiness” of the collection among the NFT community, some brands are betting on its potential for monetization and as a tool for brand positioning. Universal Music and Timbaland productions each launched their own music groups with Bored Apes as members and Adidas is branding one NFT with its merchandise.
Animoca seems to be the latest company to join the trend. Partnering with the Bored Apes can help Animoca position itself as a “cool” blockchain gaming company and overall increase its market reach.
However, one aspect of using Bored Ape’s intellectual property is that not even the creators can sell the IP of the Apes that they don’t own them. However, existing NFT owners may be able to claim a 3d version of their existing NFT, although no details about that were released. Also, there are plans to launch a token for the BAYC project, and it’s unclear how that will impact the game.
The game is positive news for all Bored Ape holders because as new projects are launched using the project’s IP, more value and utility are added to every NFT in the collection. However, for the partner projects, the fact that any other Ape holder can start a similar project the next day diminishes the exclusivity of the initiative and may make it complicated to protect rights.
This could be more of an issue for Adidas, for example, because nothing is preventing a Bored Ape Yacht Club owner from partnering with Nike and launching a very similar initiative. Animoca, on the other hand, is an established player in the blockchain gaming industry and one of the most prominent names in the play-to-earn arena. Few companies looking to launch something similar are likely to have the means or the scope to do so.
“We’re excited to work with Animoca Brands to grow the BAYC universe and expand the utility and benefits offered to all Bored Ape NFT holders,” said a Yuga Labs spokesperson. “Animoca Brands is a trailblazer in the blockchain gaming space with a proven track record of delivering. We can’t wait to share more with the community about what we’re building.”