04/03/2024 You’ll Need To Spend $70k To Enter This Digital Bathroom And Twerk

The $300 million Bored Ape Yacht Club metaverse looks awful in its first big test

A bored ape twerks inside a bathroom in the metaverse.
To enter this bathroom and twerk you’ll need to spend $70,000. Screenshot:Yuga Labs / Kotaku

A large metaverse project created by the company behind theBored Apes Yacht Club NFTproject held a recent series of beta sessions for individuals who ownedcertain NFTs. While the developers claim this is just the beginning, it’s not looking promising considering how much money is involved.

On February 29, the third major playtest for the upcomingNFT-powered metaverseproject—Otherside—happened. The event was called “Apes Come Home,” and the big news was that folks who owned a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT could arrive, see theirNFTrealized in full 3D, and gain access to an exclusive digital clubhouse. Here players could walk around, take selfies, twerk, walk some more, and do all of this in silence as the test didn’t support text or voice chat. All the more time to contemplate whether spending $70,000 on a digital monkey to gain “exclusive benefits” in aSecond Lifeknock-off was actually worth it.

Othersideis a still-in-development browser-based NFT metaverse MMO that is being developed byYuga Labs, the company responsible for Bored Apes and Mutant Apes.In May 2022, Yuga was able to sell$300 million worth of digital landin the upcoming game. So there’s a lot of money involved. Yuga claims thatOthersidewill support multiple NFT types and eventually contain user-created games, likeRoblox. To help build this large metaverse, Yuga has held a series of “trips” or tests in the past.The first was held in 2022.The second in 2023. These, however, were barebones affairs using default avatars and temporary assets. February 29’s event was different, as it was meant to showcase one of the 200,000 land plots that will make upOtherside, as well as show Bored and Mutant Ape owners what all their money is going to get them.

Looking at videosand picturesofthe event,Othersidedoesn’t look great. The graphics aren’t ugly,but extremely bland.The performance is choppy. And animations are limited. It looks more like a browser-based 3D chat room from 2013 than a big, expensive 2024 metaverse project. But it falls short in that comparison, too, because at least in even the cheapest, crappiest of those virtual chat rooms, you could talk to people. You can’t actually chat inOtherside.

The moment players arrive in the NFT metaverse, they are attacked by a goat.This is the “lore” behindwhy nobody can talk. They are then given a camera by a little digital creature called a “Koda” and set free to run around aimlessly and look at this first part ofOtherside. If you owned an ape NFT, you’d be able to play as your NFT re-recreated as a 3D avatar. If not, you run around as some weird techno-voyager-robot thing, though only ape holders could access the clubhouse in the swamp.

“This is the thing that spending $75,000 on this NFT got me, access to this place here,”said Orangie, an NFT content creator, when they entered the clubhouse for the first time. They sounded excited—or at least like they were pretending to be—but as they walked around this exclusive bar/clubhouse, I wasn’t sure the privilege was worth even $75. The place looked about as fun as a random building inWorld of Warcraft.

In an official video fromOtherside, an ape is seen taking a selfie in a bathroom as another ape twerks in a stall. If this clubhouse action sounds like a good time to you, well, you’ll need to buy an ape. The cheapest one as of this writing isaround $72,000.But,actually, you can’t playOthersideanymore. Sorry?

During the “Apes Come Home” event, Yuga only let players run around this area ofOthersidefor 60 minutes. They held three separate hour-long sessions. They said this was to give everyone a chance to enter and to limit strain on the servers. I think the time limit was because they know there’s not much to see or do in this first world and the devs didn’t want anyone sticking around for a few hours and figuring that out. Though even Orangie, a person who has spent at least $70,000 on NFTs and is a true believer in this metaverse/clubhouse concept, admitted in their video review that they got bored of just flying and walking around mostly empty-looking landscapes with their expensive ape avatar.

PerhapsOthersidewill expand into more in the future.Yuga Labs has big plans, at least. The studio says it wants to turnOthersideinto an experience that can support user-made games and content, similar toRobloxorFortnite. However, those games are free-to-play and have deals with big brands likeStar Wars.Otherside’s pricey entry fee—the cheapest option for entrance appears to be buying anOtherdeed NFT for around $600—and lack of gameplay or big IP will be a hard sell for kids and folks looking for a new online game. And that’s assuming this thing ever actually launches.



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