Yuga Labs’ much-anticipated metaverse gaming system, Otherside, is open for business. Just about. Last weekend, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) invited 4,300 ‘Voyagers’ or players to a tech demo and tour of the interactive online platform.
All Otherside users will have to go on either the Bored Ape guided tour or view the tech demo to participate in the game, which has yet to be completely rolled out. The tour and tech demo are known as “First Trips” on the platform. Another requirement is the game is only open to holders of Otherside land plots in the game’s first phase.
The Voyagers who went to the center of Otherside last Saturday, known as the “Biogenic Swamp,” were owners of “Otherdeeds,” which are deeds to plots of digital land within the game.
Otherside’s developers announced via a litepaper released the same day as the excursion that Otherdeed Owners and “selected third-party developers” are permitted to experience the game in its initial phase. “Each subsequent Trip will take place on a different date in order to accommodate as many Voyagers as possible,” the litepaper website adds.
As per the litepaper, “Phase 1” will have Otherdeed navigate an 11-part narrative game entitled Voyager’s Journey “surrounding a mysterious obelisk that has suddenly appeared in the Otherside universe. Otherdeed owners can contribute to the platform’s construction and mold core capabilities as co-developers. Otherdeed landowners do this with the game’s suite of creation tools called the Otherside Development Kit.
Otherside will remain committed to interoperability or the ability for digital assets to freely move about the various digital neighborhoods that could make up the avatar-guided metaverse, according to the litepaper.
As one of the leading proponents of an “open metaverse,” Yuga Labs believe interoperability is an important element of a democratized and accessible internet of the future. They, along with other like-minded leaders in this space, see the dangers of mega corporations keeping metaverse offerings bordered to retain control over users’ data and analytics.
The litepaper stated, “We believe in the extraordinary power of community and have seen firsthand how it can be a significant force for good in this industry. We aim to incentivize, empower, and recognize the expression, creativity, and ingenuity of Otherside’s community of contributors.”
Meanwhile, Otherside is currently accessible only to its digital landowners, which sets it apart from other big metaverse platforms that remain open to all internet surfers. Otherdeeds are going for at least 2.8ETH or a little under $3,800. At the inception of Otherdeeds in April 2022, a 24-hour sale produced $561 million in sales and backed up the Ethereum network with a floor price of $5,800.
Exclusivity and a high price point for entry have become part of the Yuga Labs’ brand. It’s probably why BAYC is one of the most recognizable NFT series in the world. But how it continues to balance the business model of exclusivity with its stated desire for an open metaverse could be an interesting internal conflict to watch.
Will Yuga Labs buck the trend by making the price of admission accessible to more users in the future, or will Otherside remain yet another members-only club under its roof?