Activision Blizzard president leaves company to lead Bored Ape Yacht Club
Do you want to switch Duty calls and World of Warcraft for a barrel full of monkey pictures?
Daniel Alegre, the now former president and chief operating officer of Activision Blizzard, did just that. Alegre shared Friday that he left Activison Blizzard after 3 years with the company at the end of Q1 next year to “pursue a new opportunity.”
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We now know that this new opportunity is headed up by Yuga Labs, the parent company of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs.
On Monday, Yuga Labs announced that Alegre joined the company as its new CEO, stepping in for Nicole Muniz. Muniz, who has been involved with the BAYC founders 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 basically unique tokens attached to a piece of digital media, in this case an image of a cartoon monkey, to show ownership of the piece. BAYC holders can trade their NFTs on the secondary market, where some have sold for millions of dollars. Other BAYC owners, such as actor Seth Greenhave made their own intellectual property around their Bored Ape NFT, which 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 built its NFT portfolio and acquired other major NFT projects such as CryptoPunks, hoping to build a blockchain-based metaverse. The company launched a “virtual land” NFT project in May called “Otherside,” which was Yuga Lab’s 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 skill set for some time,” Yuga Labs co-founder Wylie Aronow said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have him join the team to help with our vision of a truly interoperable metaverse. Daniel has held one of the most senior roles at one of the largest gaming companies in the world. He brings valuable experience across entertainment, e – trade and global strategic partnerships – all of which are critical aspects of an immersive web3 world built by creators and for creators.”
And Alegre isn’t their first big game rental either. In September, the company was employee mobile gaming boss Spencer Tucker as its Chief Gaming Officer
However, Yuga Labs will have its work cut out for it if they want to enter the gaming industry.
Blockchain-based Web3 games have struggled to take off. Online games Axie Infinityfor example, was once an outbreak in the field … until it was hacked 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 insure fans that it would not integrate NFTs into their games.