Welcome to the Otherside: The MMORPG by Yuga Labs

Whether you are a voyager or new to the Otherside, the party starts where the swamp ends.

Wed Dec 07 2022

7 Minutes


Key Takeaways:

  • Yuga Labs’ Otherside is a gamified virtual world, attempting to blend massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) mechanics with Web3 values and infrastructure to create an interoperable player-owned ecosystem.
  • Yuga co-founders Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow built Otherside on a shared vision of expanding the existing BAYC ecosystem by providing access to the next wave of digital experiences. Their mission is to become the premier platform enabling creators and developers to create, launch, and monetize their ideas in the metaverse.
  • Otherside’s land NFTs, Otherdeeds, made their public debut in Q2 2022, with its primary sale marking the largest recorded NFT mint in history, at upwards of $157M.
  • Dookey Dash, an NFT-gated game reminiscent of Subway Surfer, was introduced to the BAYC ecosystem and is available to Sewer Pass holders.
  • Otherside is backed by the likes of Improbable and Animoca Brands. Yuga labs raised $450M to fund this project in March 2022, bringing its valuation to $4B.

You’re peacefully fishing, puffing away at a cigar, when you hook a mysterious bottle instead of a fish. The bottle says, “drink me,” and after you do, the world shifts. An iceberg erupts to your left. Dead ahead, a volcano spewing lava bursts through the ground. And then, suddenly, you’re hoisted into the air by a mysterious celestial being.

As you’re carried into the sky, you leave your fishing rod behind … and are tossed into the Otherside.

What may seem like a dream is actually the Otherside experience, as depicted in the buzzy trailer that Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and other major projects launched this past March.

And that tease — led by Kodas, which now enjoy their own almost cult-like following from BAYC community members and creators — is just a glimpse at the potential the Otherside has in store for future voyagers.

But first … what the heck is a Koda?

Yuga Labs has said that Kodas are “a race of celestial beings” that hold the Otherside together. They spin a tale of Kodas using their cosmic energy to create a microverse within the physical universe: the Otherside. Seeing their new, vast, and empty universe, the Kodas decided to travel out to pull Bored Apes and other NFT avatars into the Otherside to populate it.

On first blush, Kodas seem like a cute sidekick to a metaverse adventure, playing on our human ability to develop an emotional attachment to the emotionless machines, robots, and software agents in our lives … especially when they are dressed up in adorable packaging (otherwise known as the “Tamigotchi effect”).

However, Kodas are more than an effective marketing tool - they are the embodiment of Otherside lore. In fact, they represent a major shift in the way we think about land-based virtual worlds.

Why Kodas matter

Land’s value is more often than not tied to its scarcity. But what we mean by scarcity may depend on several factors. For instance, the amount of land across the entirety of a virtual world may be vast, but the amount of land available for sale in popular areas like the Fashion District in Decentraland, for example, may be limited. Thus, Fashion District plots often are more expensive to buy than plots in less frequented areas.

In most metaverse projects, land plots are virtually the same — their value comes from their proximity to popular areas. However, Otherside land, Otherdeeds, has an interesting approach: land as NFTs with specific attributes attached to them, each with their own levels of rarity (and scarcity).

Kodas are the flashiest example of this. Of the 100,000 Otherdeeds, 10,000 have a Koda, giving buyers only a 10% chance of getting one. And these Kodas, in addition to being cute, may also be intensely valuable in the future.

After all, despite the downmarket across NFTs, the Bored Ape floor price still hovers over 73 ETH (around $85K USD as of this writing). The floor price for Mutant Apes, a Yuga Labs derivative of the popular Bored Apes collection, is around $17K USD … and there are already rumors that a Koda collection is something to look forward to for the BAYC family.

The value of resource-rich virtual land and dynamic NFTs

Kodas represent a resource tied to the land you buy, just as you may buy land in the physical world and discover it has oil or gold beneath it. These traits and resources are conveyed within Otherdeeds, and each new owner can benefit from them.

Resources you may find in your Otherdeed include one of five sorts of sediment: Biogenic Swamp (tier 5), Chemical Goo (tier 4), Rainbow Atmos (tier 3), Cosmic Dream (tier 2), and Infinite Expanse (tier 1). That said, every Otherdeed, or piece of land, has up to four harvestable resources that users can extract in the game: anima, ore, shard, and root.

That's why it's essential to sift through Otherdeed traits; with the Parcel Marketplace offering a plethora of land filters, you can efficiently find land that fits your checklist. Filters are also helpful for newcomers, giving folks a helping hand when sourcing their first Otherdeed.

Of course, outside of the rarity of the traits and the requisite impact on resale value, we will know how these resources can be leveraged to benefit a landowner once the Otherside is up and running.

However, it's not hard to imagine a fully functioning metaverse economy resting atop such resources: It's already been demonstrated in many massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as Star Wars Galaxies, where users could own land, mine resources for it, then sell those resources to adventurers hoping to create, say, even rarer weapons or armor with them.

If the land you bought doesn't come with a Koda or another resource, there is still the possibility that a Koda might one day appear via airdrop or exchange with other land owners.

That's because Otherdeeds are dynamic NFTs that can be updated over time. Dynamic NFT asset data could eventually reflect several traits and attributes, from efforts made to improve the land (and thus, its value) to changes the virtual world's operators make that affect it — although, given that the Otherside has yet to launch its platform officially, how this may be applied is mostly speculative to this point.

That said, turning a profit on your Otherdeed does not require a Koda. Landowners do not need to be technical, although it always helps since individual actors, companies, and creatives can apply for Otherside's SDK Program and help build the world through character creation, character skins, in-game resources, gaming, mini-gaming, and more.

What you should know about ApeCoin

The BAYC cryptocurrency, ApeCoin, launched in Q1 2022 as the intended in-world currency for Yuga Labs' Otherside. First things first, the Yuga Labs ecosystem functions because of the community support they've garnered around it. BAYC and MAYC are not merely NFTs; they're symbols and social markers representing an individual's idiosyncrasies through art. It doesn't stop there because ApeCoin enables the ecosystem to move past individual NFTs and collections, tying it all together by creating a holistic environment for ecosystem participants, regardless of collection owned, to participate in.

So, what does owning ApeCoin over something like ETH offer holders?

To keep it short, ApeCoin holders become eligible to participate in the ApeCoin DAO, and gain access to Otherside's in-world currency while certain external projects have concurrently begun to accept ApeCoin as a form of payment.

Interoperability and Otherside access for non-landowners

Yuga Labs cofounder “Gargamel” told TechCrunch that Otherside is expected to be “an open, interoperable universe” where “assets can be user generated, user owned, moved off the platform and no one’s stopping you.”

That commitment to interoperability should drive greater interest from creators to participate in the Otherside since the assets they create on it will theoretically be transferable and usable across platforms (and not just on the Otherside).

Yuga Labs has said that you won’t need to own an Otherdeed to participate as a creator in the virtual world — launching an SDK program where anyone is welcome to join the Otherside universe if they express interest in participating in contributing to the platform.

Builders need to fill out a form, and then they can start working on character creation, designing skins, building games, or even making their own creator adventure within the Otherside ecosystem.

It's time to play

If you're on Twitter, you've heard about Dookey Dash, Yuga Labs' new endless runner game. Dookey Dash, is a skill-based NFT-gated game reminiscent of Subway Surfers, available to Sewer Pass holders.

BAYC folks seem to be enjoying Dookey Dash, and the wider community is wondering whether this counts as the first widely successful web3 gameplay, where the parent project is offering additional utility and experiences to its users.

Yes, as per usual with Yuga, there is a barrier to entry here. To play Dookey Dash, you've got to have a Sewer Pass. Sewer Passes were made available to claim for BAYC/MAYC holders on January 17th but anyone can now purchase a Sewer Pass on the secondary market if they'd like to play the game.

Sewer Passes alone, of which there are 21,791, have exceeded $35.7M in trading volume (DappRadar).

Dookey Dash will remain open from January 18th to February 8th, 2023. After that, the overall top 1 player will receive a key to the game while other high ranking players will be able to participate in the summons on February 15, 2023 aka Reveal Day.

Yuga Labs’ track record of success

When Yuga Labs raised $450M to fund the Otherside, its valuation was at $4 billion, and its $157 million NFT mint was the largest in history.

The mint didn’t take place entirely without a hitch: Yuga Labs burned 55,843 ETH, which caused gas fees to skyrocket as people paid to jump the lines and process their transactions faster (one buyer even paid $14,000 in Ethereum to bump his purchase of two Otherdeed NFTs to the front of the line).

However, Yuga Labs has positioned itself well as one of the brands most likely to succeed in creating a functioning ecosystem within the metaverse, and it has the assets to make it an especially compelling place to be.

As the trailer showed, the Koda wasn’t just escorting Bored Apes into the Otherside. It also ushered in other NFTs – including CryptoPunks and Meebits –collections they acquired in what was likely a more than $100M acquisition of their biggest competitor Larva Labs in March.

Its commitment to interoperability will draw even more NFT collections into the Otherside. It will encourage non-land-owning builders and Otherdeed landowners to participate, making the Otherside one of the most intriguing virtual worlds to date.

See what you can unlock with an Otherdeed on the Parcel Marketplace.

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