Yuga Labs, the tech firm behind the infamous NFT cesspool Bored Ape Yacht Club, is eager to rake in
suckers potential players to its play-to-earn game known as Otherside, a self-described “metaRPG” that “blends mechanics from MMORPGs and web3-enabled virtual worlds,” allegedly letting over 10,000 players and “millions of complex, interactive entities in a single world supported with physics and AI” interact in one place for “incredible live interaction”; what that interaction actually is, however, isn’t clear. Apparently the game was meant to launch in April. (It didn’t.)
We cast a spotlight on this latest P2E scam as BAYC apparently experienced some pretty serious problems when Otherside elected to sell in-game land NFTs known as Otherdeeds. As is the case for other NFTs, Otherdeeds are in artificially limited supply; there were only 100K available on April 30th, and another 100,000 Otherdeeds “exclusively rewarded to Voyagers who hold Otherdeeds and contribute to the development of Otherside.” Again, what these land NFTs actually mean in a gameplay sense is unclear, but that just emphasizes that the supposed MMORPG is not really the company’s priority here.
Regardless, buyers flocked to the initial sale, which was available only by using the Etherium-based ApeCoin cryptocurrency. This in turn caused “gas fees” – the fee users have to pay for the computational output required to complete an ETH transaction – to skyrocket into the five-figure range, while others were reportedly charged a gas fee despite their Otherdeed transaction not fully completing.
Yuga Labs noted it was aware of the problem, then announced on Twitter this past Wednesday that gas fees were being refunded to those whose transactions failed “due to network conditions caused by the mint.” Many replies to the tweet report that not everyone has gotten a refund, and an Otherside phishing website has also reportedly conned NFT holders out of about $6.2 million.
In spite of all of this, people are still buying, netting Yuga Labs over 270K ETH in sales, or over $810M USD in just the first week of May at the time of this writing. In case anyone was wondering, this is why we can’t have nice things.