NewsGaming

Bored Ape Yacht Club to Launch Play-to-Earn NFT Game

Animoca Brands will co-develop the upcoming game based on the surging Ethereum NFT project.

3 min read
A Bored Apes game is coming. Image: Bored Ape Yacht Club

In brief

  • The Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection will be turned into a play-to-earn crypto game.
  • Yuga Labs has partnered with Animoca Brands to co-develop the upcoming game.

In less than eight months, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has become one of the most valuable and best-known NFT projects around, with celebrities “aping in” to the club, Adidas signing the brand, and virtual bands springing up left and right. Now the Apes are getting their own game.

Today, Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs announced that it will develop a play-to-earn game in partnership with Animoca Brands. Animoca is the publisher of the upcoming metaverse game, The Sandbox, and also an investor in a wide array of play-to-earn games and crypto industry projects, ranging from Axie Infinity to NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club game is planned to launch in Q2 2022, but no other specific details were announced, aside from the play-to-earn focus and the fact that it will utilize Bored Ape NFTs. The teaser image shows a robotic hand clutching an electrified banana with the Bored Ape Yacht Club logo on it.

Animoca Brands and Yuga Labs have yet to announce which blockchain platform the game will run on, although the Bored Ape NFTs are minted on Ethereum. Many Ethereum-based games—most notably Axie Infinity—use a layer-2 scaling solution such as asidechain to minimize fees and offer speedier transactions than Ethereum’s own mainnet can handle.

Also unclear at this point is whether the Bored Ape Yacht Club game will be exclusive to NFT holders, or if it will be available for everyone to play, perhaps with benefits for NFT owners.

The NFT collection bills itself as an exclusive club and offers various benefits to owners, such as access to a private Discord server, special merchandise drops, live events—like a recent concert with The Strokes and Chris Rock in New York City—and additional free NFTs.

In a press release, a Yuga Labs spokesperson said that the collaboration would “expand the utility and benefits offered to all Bored Ape NFT holders.” Decrypt has reached out to Animoca for clarification and will update if we hear back.

An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a one-of-a-kind digital item, whether it’s a Bored Ape-style profile picture, a digital illustration, a video file, or something else. The market has exploded over the course of 2021, with nearly $10.7 billion worth of trading volume in Q3. Bored Ape NFTs now routinely sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.

Between its three NFT drops, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has collectively generated more than $1.4 billion worth of secondary market trading volume, according to data from CryptoSlam. It’s also increasingly popular with celebrities, with the likes of comedian Jimmy Fallon, NBA player Stephen Curry, and rapper Post Malone amongst prominent holders.

Because Bored Ape holders can commercialize their owned images, the project has also yielded virtual metaverse bands from the likes of music producer Timbaland and Universal Music Group. Yuga Labs recently partnered with Adidas on a metaverse initiative and plans to launch an Ethereum-based token in Q1 2022.

Play-to-earn games typically require the ownership of certain NFT assets to play and then reward players with crypto tokens that can be swapped at an exchange for cryptocurrencies. Monster-battling game Axie Infinity is the biggest example to date, with some 2.8 million daily players and more than $3.6 billion worth of trading volume to date.

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