Yuga Labs CEO: 'The Metaverse Is Not New'

The company behind the Bored Apes Yacht Club has a new CEO from Web2, and he knows that you can’t build Web3 with a Web2 mindset.

AccessTimeIconApr 28, 2023 at 6:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 28, 2023 at 9:50 p.m. UTC

AUSTIN, Texas — Gamers want to participate in the creative environment of gaming and be a part of the ecosystem, but will flee if they think that the metaverse and Web3 are just about fleecing them for money, Daniel Alegre, the new CEO of Yuga Labs, said on stage at the Consensus 2023 festival here on Friday.

Alegre joined Yuga Labs – the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs – in December from Activision Blizzard (ATVI), where he served as president and chief operating officer. During his time at Activision Blizzard, he oversaw some of the company’s most important franchises, including World of Warcraft, which was a metaverse, even though it reached its peak in the mid-2000s.

“The reality is the metaverse is not new,” he said. “World of Warcraft, for all intents and purposes, is a metaverse,” he added. “But what Web3 is enabling is not only new interaction and ways for players to find communities that go beyond necessarily the game itself.”

But if you say the word “metaverse” around gamers, they likely won’t have a good response. In December 2021, game publishing house Ubisoft tried to attach non-fungible tokens to Ghost Recon but failed. On-chain data showed that gamers just weren’t interested.

The key to success with Web3 and gaming is to design the game from the ground up with Web3 in mind, Alegre said.

“You can actually really bring the Web 2 players and have them realize, OK, this is what Web3 does,” he said. “If the experiences are excellent, people will follow.”

Edited by Nick Baker.


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