Last Friday, the NFT space got shocked by Yuga Labs’ acquisition of the IP of Larva Labs’ CryptoPunks and Meebits. The bold move is a result of a well-thought decision between the two former NFT rivals, especially on Larva Labs.
Yuga Labs Bored Ape Yacht Club and Larva Labs CryptoPunks — A Brief Comparison
When Bored Apes entered the NFT scene, they weren’t as popular as CryptoPunks. Yet, throughout the year, BAYC developers gave amazing membership perks to Bored Ape owners. Members gained access to an exclusive social organization through the Yacht Club. They also received two additional free NFTs—the Bored Ape Kennel Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club. In addition, they can buy exclusive merchandise and attend a free concert last fall in New York City. Ultimately, they have full rights to commercialize the Ape image(s) that they have.
On the other hand, CryptoPunks has always been the OG profile picture project. Larva’s two-man team of Matt Hall and John Watkinson created CryptoPunks in 2017. The NFT collection then blew the market and started to be a status symbol in the NFT space. While many said that its historical value in the space is enough, some began to complain about its lack of utilities. CryptoPunks owners said that the project lacked attention and didn’t provide any other perks or benefits.
Larva Labs Decision
In a blog post, Larva Labs admitted their abilities do not fit anymore to the demands of the growing NFT profile picture (PFP) projects.
“Our specialty has always been the creation of things early in the life of a technology. So, as this category of “Profile Picture Projects” (PFP) grew into an industry in itself, we found ourselves less and less suited to the operation of these projects. Our personalities and skillsets aren’t well suited to community management, public relations, and the day-to-day management that these kinds of projects require and deserve,” they wrote.
Veteran music industry executive Guy Oseary became the bridge between Yuga and Larva Labs. At first, Larva Labs said they considered collaborating with the Bored Ape creators. Yet, in the end, they felt Yuga could do a better job of handling the CryptoPunks and Meebits IP.
Larva Labs sold off the IP, but they will still experiment and launch new projects, which the duo wrote is their strength than maintaining the ones that are already there.
Yuga Labs Statement
Yuga Labs also released their statement about giving Meebit and CryptoPunks owners the IP and commercial rights: “With this acquisition, Yuga Labs will own the CryptoPunks and Meebit brands and logos, and as they’ve done with their own BAYC collection, Yuga Labs will transfer IP, commercial, and exclusive licensing rights to individual NFT holders.”
According to Yuga, they don’t plan to reshape their newly-acquired projects into Bored Ape-style membership clubs. They also won’t add royalties to the currently royalty-free collections. There are no other plans as of the moment. “We’re not in a rush to do anything but give people full commercial rights, see what they build, and listen,” Yuga Labs tweeted Friday.