After much anticipation, the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) Otherside metaverse finally had its first sale drop this week. The sale launched on Saturday, April 30 at 9 pm ET, Otherside had announced on its Twitter page.
So, what exactly is Otherside, can you still get in, and what does it mean for NFTs as a whole?
The Otherside teaser that broke NFT Twitter
Yuga Labs, BAYC’s parent company, dropped a teaser for Otherside, in mid-March. Since then, NFT Twitter has been abuzz with chatter about Otherside and what all it could entail. The teaser featured an ape in flip-flops and a hat, smoking a cigarette. He then fishes a potion out of the water and consumes it, which sends him to the “Otherside”—a place filled with lava and submarines.
Moreover, there were several other NFT avatars inside the submarine. Including, a CryptoPunk, a World of Women avatar, a Mutant Ape, and a Cool Cat. Speculations are now rife that the metaverse will support several other NFT collections.
Around the same time, Yuga Labs announced its partnership with Animoca Brands to build the metaverse. However, the two companies stated that the first phase of the project will require a KYC verification. Needless to say, the announcement created an uproar on Twitter.
But, here’s the deal. Otherside has announced that only those whose KYC was approved on their announcement website could participate in the mint. However, existing BAYC and MAYC holders can claim the NFT for up to 21 days after the auction and don’t need to be KYC-approved. That said, they too needed to be KYC-verified to mint during the auction.
A fun few days of Otherside speculation
According to Yuga Labs’ April 25th statement, the Otherside sale was going to take place as a Dutch auction. Not only that, but the sale would take place exclusively in APE (though buyers will need ETH for gas fees).
Conspicuously missing from that initial announcement was the mint price, collection size and above all, what exactly would even be going on sale! As a result, there was mass speculation about these missing mint details. Much of which, people extrapolated from the leaked Yuga Labs pitch deck from a few weeks ago.
To be sure, the leading assumption was that this would be a land sale for the Otherside metaverse. Even so, any BAYC holders believed that the mint could actually be for “Kodas”. For those who don’t know, a Koda starred in the Otherside teaser. The tiny, alien-looking avatar – which is also the current Otherside logo – is what carried the Ape to the Otherside.
Stoking the fires was a tweet from the BAYC Twitter account, “OK but what the fuck is a Koda?” However, with newer information from Yuga Labs, we know that the sale won’t be for Kodas. This lines up with the leaked pitch deck, which stated that Kodas would appear in random plots of Otherside land.
Yuga Labs “Otherdeeds” Mint
Two days before the scheduled mint date, Yuga Labs, at last, answered some of the NFT community’s burning questions.
In a short blog post from Otherside, the team announced that, despite its previous plans, it believes that “Dutch auctions are actually bull***t.” As a result, the Otherside sale will instead be a flat price. Furthermore, Yuga Labs confirmed what many had long taken for granted. Namely, that the mint would indeed be a land sale of 55K “Otherdeeds”.
Another key detail that Yuga Labs revealed shortly before mint was the mint price. Also in line with many predictions, the mint price was set at 305 APE. For those keeping a mental tally, Saturday’s mint brought the Yuga Labs well over $300 million (at the current price of ApeCoin).
Considering the huge amount of APE that Otherside took in, Yuga Labs did note that all ApeCoin used for the mint will be locked up for one year. In other words, the coins won’t be circulating, and can’t be used to vote in the ApeCoin DAO either.
Otherdeed Mint Plagued by Brutal Gas War
As noted above, Yuga Labs made a late-game decision to go away from a Dutch auction for the Otherdeed mint. According to the team, this was because they felt that Dutch auctions were not a good way to prevent gas wars. Instead, Yuga Labs used the flat mint price along with a per wallet limit. To explain, there was a limit of 2 NFTs per wallet to begin the mint, with the wallet limit increasing as the mint went along.
Unfortunately, although somewhat predictably, Yuga Labs failed to mitigate gas wars. On the contrary, the Otherdeed mint resulted in maybe the worst gas war ever. As a matter of fact, gas prices spiked so much that the mint temporarily crashed Etherscan.
Gas went as high as 6000+ Gwei during the mint period, meaning many people paid as much as 2.5 ETH on gas fees alone! To make matters even worse, there were people paying this sky-high gas premium who still suffered failed transactions. In other words, they paid all that gas and lost it, getting nothing in return.
While some of this comes down to the unprecedented demand for the mint, it appears that Yuga Labs could’ve taken several steps to prevent the gas fees from getting so out of control. At this point, many people monitoring the situation have offered different options that Yuga could have taken. Some of which could’ve saved people thousands of ETH in gas fees.
Will the Otherside mint lead to the birth of an ApeCoin chain?
The first thing Yuga Labs did after the Otherdeeds sold out was release a statement acknowledging the gas war fiasco. In the Twitter statement, they did promise that they would refund the gas of those who tried and failed to mint.
Significantly, much of the statement had the effect of pushing any blame for the gas war off of Yuga Labs and putting it on Ethereum. There were no mentions or nods to the lack of smart contract optimization that much of Twitter was fixated on.
Instead, Yuga Labs framed this as an unavoidable situation, due to the Otherside mint being ” the largest NFT mint in history by several multiples”. Not only that, but they went as far as to say that this mint suggests that this mint could prompt an entirely new blockchain.
“We’re sorry for turning off the lights on Ethereum for a while. It seems abundantly clear that ApeCoin will need to migrate to its own chain in order to properly scale. We’d like to encourage the DAO to start thinking in this direction.” – Yuga Labs via Twitter
The prospect of APE the native token of Yuga Labs’ formidable ecosystem, migrating to its own blockchain has massive implications for the entire NFT space. To clarify, ApeCoin is technically run by the ApeCoin DAO, Even so, Yuga itself pushing for an ApeCoin chain is sure to spark chatter among DAO holders at the very least.
Mint issues aside, it looks like Yuga did it again
All things considered, the mint issues have not done much to impact sales of Yuga’s Otherdeed NFTs. To that end, the collection has already seen an absurd 169.5K ETH in secondary sales volume. In addition, the floor sits at 4.04 ETH at the time of writing. There are already several 3-digit ETH sales, including the most expensive sale so far at 300 ETH.
Part of the secondary sales action has come due to another announcement from Yuga Labs, this one about the second allocation of 100K Otherdeeds. Most people expected this to happen as a second mint down the line. However, it has now been revealed that those Otherdeeds will actually go to current holders, as part of their activities in Otherside.
And of course, there’s the Kodas. In the end, the Koda release played out as in the leaked pitch deck, with the little aliens randomly coming as part of Otherdeeds. Not as another NFT collection – at least not for now. The 10K Otherdeeds with Kodas sit at a floor price of 26.12 ETH. Given that’s more than six times the overall collection floor, it’s fair to say that the mysterious creatures are already proving their value.
What is the Obelisk?
On May 11th, the official Otherside Twitter account posted a cryptic message hinting at things to come in the Otherside metaverse.
“Fragments of an Obelisk have washed ashore in the Biogenic Swamp. Voyagers, your Otherdeed is your key to helping build the Otherside metaverse. As we reassemble the Obelisk together, the Otherside comes to life,” the Tweet reads.
The mini thread followed up with a sneak peek of demo gameplay courtesy of Otherside’s partner, the metaverse tech company Improbable.
The only other information comes in a new page “Obelisk” on the Otherside website. The page builds on the lore of the origin of the Kodas and the Otherside marketplace, called The Agora. It also invites Otherdeed holders – or Voyagers, as it calls them – to help shape the experience. Significantly, the tech demo is available to Voyagers only.
Needless to say, the tweet provided rare excitement in the midst of an epic downturn in the NFT and crypto markets. Some commenters even went as far as to say that Yuga Labs was putting an end to the bear market. While that’s likely a bridge too far, it is exciting news nonetheless, and points to the ongoing development of Yuga Labs’ metaverse game.
Otherside Announces First Trip
Following its “Obelisk” announcement, Otherside Meta on June 28 announced its “first trip”. As always, the tweet was shrouded in mystery, with the team not revealing much details about what’s in store. At the time, all the members knew was that the First Trip is the tech demo from the British metaverse technology company, Improbable.
Besides, only Otherdeed holders are eligible for the trip, which will take place on July 16.
“Calling all Voyagers!” Otherside tweeted. “Are you free for the First Trip on July 16th? Head to the official Otherside discord to answer a 2-question survey to help us with the headcount. Excited for you to explore, give feedback, and help us make the Otherside everything you want it to be.”
Furthermore, it said that the survey will only be live for 48-hours. While it is “purely informational and not mandatory”, it is also only open to Otherdeed holders. Verified Otherdeed holders can take part in the survey through the “first-trip-survey” channel on the Otherside Discord.
Otherside Metaverse Demo Kickstarts With 4,500 Users
On July 16, the much-awaited Otherside tech demo (aka “first trip”) kicked off with a total of 4,500 participants. The event was an incredible success, with many of the users taking to Twitter to share their experiences.
“Today’s @OthersideMeta First Trip was truly a wild experience!” Tweeted illuminary.eth. “Jumping through the swamp portal legit gave me chills and it was insane to see 4500 voyagers running around a large, immersive space.”
So what exactly went down during the First Trip?
Firstly, the Voyager avatars of the participants gathered at a blank virtual lobby. They then followed a Bored Ape into the Otherside metaverse, where they reached a place called “Biogenic Swamp”.
From here, they moved to the stadium where they could test the various moves of their avatars. In addition, they could also explore a few other interactive places in the virtual world. To add to the thrill, the metaverse also featured giant creatures that attacked the players.
Meanwhile, speculations are now rife about the voice actor for Curtis, the BAYC’s mascot. Some believe it is none other than the American stand-up comedian, Sam Morril. On the other hand, some believe that Claptrap from Borderlands voice the Koda. However, the parties involved are yet to confirm or reject the claims.
Yuga Labs Releases Lite Paper
Soon after First Trip’s launch, Yuga Labs released a Lite Paper that serves as a starter guide for Otherside and details the project’s plans going forward. While the project is divided into three phases, they have only outlined the first as of now.
Basically, the first phase will feature an 11-part storyline game mode centred around the Obelisk. Here, Voyagers can team up with others, develop their own experiences, and “discover and shape what can be harvested, crafted, traded, bought, and sold.” The Voyagers will also get to participate in exclusive events, playtesting opportunities, and co-develop the Otherside Development Kits (ODKs).
Furthermore, the paper also outlines Otherside metaverse’s principles. “We believe in the extraordinary power of community and have seen firsthand how it can be a significant force for good in this industry,” it reads. “We aim to incentivize, empower, and recognize the expression, creativity, and ingenuity of Otherside’s community of contributors.”
Overall, the Otherside launch was as historic and significant as expected. The Otherside journey is off to a fitting side, but there is still so much more to go.