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Changes at Yuga Labs Show the NFT Market is Still Alive and Kicking

As Mark Twain once quipped, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Last month, the NFT obituary, “Your NFTs Are Actually — Finally — Totally Worthless” by pop culture magazine Rolling Stone was echoed in hundreds of online publications and traditional media outlets.

Caught up in the rubble of the crypto market collapse, the floor price of several NFT collections went to zero, trading volume decreased by 31% from $800 to $559 million, and the sales count fell by more than 50%.

Yet, much like in the case of writer Mark Twain, reports of the death of NFTs have been greatly exaggerated.

While NFTs as pieces of digital art were losing value by the millions, the technology was being deployed to other ends. Digital collectibles are becoming increasingly useful as part of Web3 games, as representations of exclusive access, as symbols of brand loyalty, and as memorabilia of unique experiences.

As the latest industry report by DappRadar notes, “The days of hyper-collectibles and profile pictures may be waning, but in their place, we see a growing appetite for tangible utility.”

Yuga Labs - mutant indeed

The famously funky Yuga Labs collections have made the NFTs studio an icon in the digital culture world. For the past month, indeed for the past year, Bored Apes Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Crypto Punks have been leading the trading volume charts.

While the media was creating headlines about the dire straits digital collectibles were in, and collectors were hiding away their precious metals, Yuga Lab has spent the past year promoting dynamism in the market.

“We celebrated a number of initiatives and events this year like Dookey Dash, Twelvefold, Made by Apes, the Punks Legacy Project, brand activations with Gucci and BAPE, and IRL events in NY, Korea, Tokyo, Austin, Singapore, and Paris.”

Yet, as the company CEO Daniel Alegre realised, “there were a number of projects that, while well-intentioned, either spread the team too thin or required execution expertise beyond our core competencies.”

Yuga Labs CEO: 'The Metaverse Is Not New'

To maintain Yuga’s position as a market leader, Alegre decided to restructure the company. As announced on October 6, the company will let go of several of its collaborators and reshuffle teams to serve a higher purpose.

Hello to the Otherside!

In September, the top 5 NFT collections by sales count were gaming-related. Due to the predominance of games in Web3, accounting for 40% of the total market share, the popularity of gaming NFTs is growing by the day.

Yuga Labs tapped this shift early on with several gaming initiatives, but nothing else compares with the Otherside.

The metaverse of the metaverses aims to bring all the NFT studio's communities together by crossing barriers of interoperability and developing digital economies. The magnanimous world being developed puts the studio in the position to leverage NFTs as digital art and as tokens with tangible utility.

To be done right, the studio needed specialised help from the best game creators out there; a cost that was hard to bear due to the involvement in so many other projects.

Alegre believes that “Yuga will forever change how consumers and brands interact,” and gaming is the future of digital collectibles.

Where a chorus of mourners chooses to see the corpse of non-fungible tokens and either weep or mock, Yuga Labs is forging the key to grant NFTs a prominent place in the future of culture, art, and entertainment.