Markets

Yuga Labs cements its dominance by appointing a CEO for games

Yuga Labs, already the leader in the NFT industry by market share, has added a senior gaming executive as its Chief Technology Officer. While the NFT boom is far from over, blockchain games did exceptionally well in the first quarter of the year.

The studio behind Bored Ape Yacht Club and Otherside, Yuga Labs, has announced the appointment of Mike Sievers as its new Chief Technology Officer. Sievers, who brings more than two decades of technology and product leadership experience, previously served as Executive Vice President of Development at Epic Games, where he led the development of popular titles like Fortnite and the Epic Games Store. He also served as Chief Technology Officer at Riot Games, supporting League of Legends, Valorant, and Legends of Runeterra.

Turn towards games

Seavers is not a random pick of a company looking to capitalize on the popularity of games. The market is likely to respond to a greater focus on the utility and playability of a company’s digital assets and the goal of generating more meaningful interactions.

NFT technologies are thriving, but they have come under scrutiny for what some see as their one-dimensional nature since their surge in popularity in 2021. In this context, it is hard to ignore the growing importance of the metaverse initiatives of fintech innovators.

Yuga’s other Metaverse is an important component of its overall strategy. Otherside, an MMORPG based on the Bored Ape collection, is slated for release later this year.

Metaverse projects involve security risks and are not without their share of scrutiny. On April 12, the MetaPoint platform fell victim to a hack of nearly $1 million. The hacker reportedly abused one of the platform’s smart contracts to steal the funds and then funneled them into Tornado Cash, making recovery difficult if not impossible.

But games are still very popular in the blockchain industry with a share of 44.37% of unique active wallets. Blockchain games had positive results in the first quarter, with dominance increasing to 45.60% from 42.87% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Yoga acquires Cryptopunks

Yuga Labs ranks first in the NFT industry, with 16 pools representing 34.6% of the entire NFT market. Its trade volume is also significant, reaching $2 billion over the past two quarters.

Its flagship group, The Bored Ape Yacht Club, has become synonymous with NFTs themselves in the broader culture. As well as one of the most expensive. (Currently, the minimum price is at 51ETH, or $96,000 USD.)

Otherside set is the best performing metaverse NFT set. Trading volume of $322 million, average selling price of $3,112, and 5.52 transactions per NFT.

Last month, it added Yoga Labs to its list of premium combos. Got an IP for Cryptopunks, one of the oldest and most influential. Terms of the deal were not available as of press time.

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