Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
Four months after hiring former Activision President and COO Daniel Alegre as its new CEO, Bored Ape Yacht Club and Otherside creator Yuga Labs is bringing on more game industry leaders to spearhead its unicorn startup.
Yuga announced today that it has hired Mike Seavers, who previously worked at League of Legends developer Riot Games and Fortnite creator Epic Games, as its new Chief Technology Officer.
Current Yuga Labs CTO Kerem Atalay will step into an advisory role, according to an announcement, once Seavers begins at the company on May 22.
“There have been rare moments over my career where I felt like a new technology was creating a true paradigm shift for the world,” Seavers said in a statement. “I recognize that Web3 is one of those moments, and I am absolutely thrilled to join Yuga Labs to help usher in a new era of the internet that impacts the world for the better.”
Seavers is a longtime game industry veteran. At Riot, he worked for seven years on the engineering and tech side, finishing as Chief Technology Officer while supporting hit games like League of Legends, Legends of Runeterra, and Valorant. He was then the CEO of game tech startup AppOnboard, which raised $20 million in Series C funding for the Buildbox game engine.
Afterward, he spent just under two years at Epic Games as its EVP of Development, where he oversaw product development across Epic’s platforms and Fortnite’s engineering team.
“Mike has a proven track record of taking organizations to the next level, and he shares our vision for how important digital identity and community will be for the future of the internet,” Alegre said in a statement. “We have an opportunity to be the Web3 platform at the forefront of community and social engagement, through media and entertainment, and Mike's expertise will help us scale to achieve that.”
Seavers’ new role is yet another sign that Yuga Labs is taking its gaming push seriously—and wants its upcoming Otherside metaverse game to be a smash despite flagging enthusiasm over metaverse hype. Otherside comes across like a social MMORPG, where players can embark on quests and immerse themselves in a 3D world.
As Yuga pushes further into gaming, it’s worth noting that its many NFT collections still make up a hefty percentage of the total NFT ecosystem by market cap.
According to a recent DappRadar report, Yuga’s NFT ecosystem—which includes the Bored Apes, Mutant Apes, CryptoPunks, Meebits, and Otherdeeds, to name a few—made up nearly 35% of all NFT sales volume from October 2022 through March 2023.
Yuga Labs’ Otherside game is the most successful “metaverse” NFT collection to date, with roughly $322 million in total volume traded in the past six months alone and nearly $1.25 billion worth to date (per CryptoSlam) since last year’s drop. ApeCoin has also become the most popular gaming-related cryptocurrency, with a $1.48 billion market cap.