Would you like to exchange Call of Duty and World of Warcraft for a barrel full of pictures of monkeys?
Daniel Alegre, the former President and COO of Activision Blizzard, just did. Lighthearted share Friday that he was leaving Activison Blizzard after 3 years with the company at the end of the first quarter of next year to “pursue a new opportunity”.
The tweet may have been deleted
(opens in a new tab)
We now know that this new opportunity runs Yuga Labs, the parent company of NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
Monday, Yuga Labs announcement that Alegre was joining the company as the new CEO, replacing Nicole Muniz. Muniz, who was involved with the founders of BAYC during the initial launch phase in April 2021, will continue to work with the company as a partner and strategic advisor.
BAYC is by far the largest and most successful of the non-fungible token projects that exploded during last year’s cryptocurrency boom.
NFTs are essentially unique tokens connected to an item of digital media, in this case an image of a cartoon monkey, in order to show ownership of the item. BAYC owners can trade their NFTs in the secondary market, where some have sold for millions of dollars. Other BAYC owners, such as the actor seth greencreated their own intellectual property around their Bored Ape NFT, something Yuga Labs allows BAYC NFT holders to do.
So what would the former president of a video game conglomerate do at a company like Yuga Labs? Well, video games, of course.
Yuga Labs has been building its NFT wallet, acquiring other major NFT projects like CryptoPunks, in hopes of building a blockchain-based metaverse. The company launched a “virtual earth” NFT project called “Otherside” in May, which was Yuga Labs’ first official foray into the metaverse. The company aims to turn Otherside into an MMORPG that integrates with BAYC and its other NFT projects.
“Nicole, Greg and I have been looking for someone with Daniel’s skills for some time,” Yuga Labs co-founder Wylie Aronow said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have him join the team to help us in our vision of a truly interoperable metaverse. Daniel has served in one of the most senior roles at one of the largest gaming companies in the world. valuable experience in entertainment, e-commerce and global strategic partnerships – all of which are essential aspects of an immersive web3 world built by creators for creators.”
And Alegre isn’t their first big gaming recruit either. In September, the company hiring mobile game director Spencer Tucker as director of games
However, Yuga Labs will have their work cut out for them if they want to enter the gaming industry.
Blockchain-based Web3 games have struggled to take off. Online game Axie Infinityfor example, was once a field breakout…until it was pirate and half a billion dollars were stolen from the ecosystem. Outside of the blockchain space, the wider video game community has outright rejected NFTs to the point where other video game companies have had to to assure fans that it would be do not integrate NFTs into its games.