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CEO Of BAYC's Creator Studio Announces Lay-offs

The studio behind some of the most notorious collections in the crypto space is reducing its team. CEO Greg Solano admits, "Yuga Lost Its Way."

Yuga Labs, the start-up that created NFT hit collections BAYC and MAYC and owner of the rights of CryptoPunks and Proof studio collections, announced last Friday it would be restructuring its team.

Co-founder and CEO Greg Solano shared a memo on X, which was sent to his team, where he admits that the company lost its creative drive in the bureaucracy haze inherent in being a $4 billion valuated company. "To put it simply: Yuga lost its way," he wrote.

"The creative-first spirit that drove this company from inception has been getting muddied by labyrinthine corporate processes. We work hard and we care but somehow end up with groups and committees. We plan more than we ship."

To get back on the right path, Solano has decided to let go of some of Yuga's staff and work with a team that "does fewer things but does them brilliantly."

After spending one year away, the co-founder returned to the company's helm two months ago. During his absence, the leadership of former CEO Daniel Alegre failed to keep the studio as hot as it had been in the past.

Bored Apes, a collection that dominated the cultural conversation both within and outside Web3 in the last bull cycle, is losing its significance as Bitcoin Ordinals rose to popularity at the start of the year.

According to data from CryptoSlam, during the past thirty days, BAYC occupied the 6th position in the rank of NFTs collection sales. Last month, the floor price of the collection fell to 12.5 ETH - a level not seen since the first months following its launch in 2021.

The days of Yuga focusing mainly on non-fungible tokens have been over for a while as the company has pivoted to developing gaming experiences and the metaverse experience Otherside.

In the memo shared on Friday, Solano revealed that he has been working on a plan to further prioritize gaming that would put the company back on track. "Part of that plan has started to roll out," he said, pointing to the recent spinout of the games HV-MTL and Legends of Mara.

The studio celebrated three years since its original collection went live on April 23 with the launch of BAYC 3D avatars.

On the studio's birthday, Wylie Aronow, co-founder of Yuga, who has stepped down due to health issues, remarked that watching his fellow founder Greg Solano "start to clean up what wasn’t working and re-prioritize the company towards what truly matters has been impressive."

Yet, the problems that the start-up is trying to overcome now aren't new, and neither are the company's efforts to solve them.

In October 2023, the company fired part of its staff, making this latest lay-off the second restructuring the start-up has undergone in less than a year. The then-CEO flagged the same issues and emphasized the same priorities as Solano did on Friday. "There are a number of projects that, while well-intentioned, either spread too thin or required execution expertise beyond our core competencies," Alegre said at the time. "We also know we need to make greater progress with the development of Otherside."