Bored Ape Creator Yuga Labs Just Offloaded NFT Games to Sharpen Focus on 'Otherside'

Yuga Labs, the startup behind the Creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), has sold two of its gaming IPs to Web3 gaming studio Faraway—a development team that has been working closely with Yuga since last year.

Both HV-MTL and Legends of the Mara have been acquired by Faraway, along with associated NFT collections. Faraway is also adding Yuga Labs’ Chief Gaming Officer Spencer Tucker as its new Chief Product Officer to help maintain continuity as the games continue on under a new company.

As a result, Yuga Labs now has two gaming properties remaining in-house: The ApeCoin-powered metaverse gaming platform Otherside, and the Bored Ape-themed Dookey Dash, which Faraway recently rebuilt as a free-to-play game due out soon.

The move is an apparent attempt to streamline the company’s focus, a theory compounded by co-founder and CEO of Yuga Labs Greg Solano on Twitter.

“This move is one step in making sure Yuga’s gaming focus is razor-sharp on 3D Otherside, so we can be telling stories and delighting people (fast) there,” Solano said. “I’ll have more news to share on that front soon.”

Stripping away some of its gaming efforts gives more time and space for Yuga Labs to refocus its efforts on Otherside and its profile picture (PFP) NFT collections—such as BAYC, CryptoPunks, and most recently Moonbirds. Solano’s post appears to suggest that more action is coming from Yuga Labs to sharpen its focus.

HV-MTL Forge is an NFT-powered mech game in which players manage habitats, while Legends of the Mara is a 2D adventure game tied into Otherside. Faraway is a Web3-centric studio that has published games like Mini Royale: Nations and the Mutant Ape Yacht Club-themed Serum City, which was developed independently from Yuga.

Despite MV-MTL and Mara being sold, Yuga Labs will be working closely with Faraway to “ensure interoperability.” The primary example of this is that, while still owned by Yuga, Koda creatures in Mara will now contribute to the Faraway points system for the freshly acquired games. Players of both games will earn rewards via Faraway’s system.

Solano returned as CEO of Yuga Labs two months ago, and when he rejoined, he shared a lengthy post on Twitter containing his mission statement. The post said that he wanted to “unshackle” the BAYC team—which was spun out into a subsidiary—and that, in regards to gaming, Yuga needs a “tighter focus on what works.

Both Otherside and Dookey Dash are named in that post; HV-MTL and Mara are not. But these gaming properties are hardly being cast out from the Yuga ecosystem. In his Twitter post on Wednesday, Solano stressed that the Faraway team, specifically the founders, are the best people for the job of spearheading future development of these games.

“When they approached Yuga with the idea of acquiring HV-MTL and LotM, I was tempted,” Solano explained. “But when they shared their vision and made it clear that they had a plan to start rewarding the community from day one, I was in.”

After “over a year” of conversations between Faraway and Yuga Labs, Solano wrote, a deal has finally been completed. Faraway is now officially the owner of HV-MTL and Legends of the Mara, along with NFT collections tied to the games. And Yuga Labs can continue to realign its focus around its biggest games and properties.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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