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You’ll Need To Spend $70k To Enter This Digital Bathroom And Twerk

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

Princess Peach’s Leading Role And More New Releases

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On February 29, the third major playtest for the upcoming NFT-powered metaverse project—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 their NFT realized 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 a Second Life knock-off was actually worth it.

Otherside is a still-in-development browser-based NFT metaverse MMO that is being developed by Yuga Labs, the company responsible for Bored Apes and Mutant Apes. In May 2022, Yuga was able to sell $300 million worth of digital land in the upcoming game. So there’s a lot of money involved. Yuga claims that Otherside will support multiple NFT types and eventually contain user-created games, like Roblox. 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 up Otherside, as well as show Bored and Mutant Ape owners what all their money is going to get them.

Otherside’s “Apes Come Home” Third Trip was CRAZY! Bored Ape Yacht Club’s Metaverse Gameplay

Looking at videos and pictures of the event, Otherside doesn’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 in Otherside.

The moment players arrive in the NFT metaverse, they are attacked by a goat. This is the “lore” behind why 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 of Otherside. 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 in World of Warcraft.

In an official video from Otherside, 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 is around $72,000. But, actually, you can’t play Otherside anymore. Sorry?

During the “Apes Come Home” event, Yuga only let players run around this area of Otherside for 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.

Perhaps Otherside will expand into more in the future. Yuga Labs has big plans, at least. The studio says it wants to turn Otherside into an experience that can support user-made games and content, similar to Roblox or Fortnite. However, those games are free-to-play and have deals with big brands like Star Wars. Otherside’s pricey entry fee—the cheapest option for entrance appears to be buying an Otherdeed 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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