Coinbase’s highly anticipated Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) miniseries has finally capitulated to the harsh conditions of the current market.
Amid the peak of the hype of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection in early 2022, U.S.-largest exchange Coinbase has unexpectedly announced a trilogy of short films dedicated to the project titled “Degen Trilogy” in the run-up to the exchange’s NFT Marketplace launch.
But after the release of the first episode in July 2022, the company confirmed to Decrypt that they have paused production for the next two episodes. A Coinbase spokesperson said:
“We are constantly evolving our content strategy and have decided to pause production of the remaining two films while we redefine the best path for creativity. We will continue to focus on new, more relevant efforts.”
In fact, the series about BAYC has been greatly supported by Yuga Labs – the company that developed the project, and Yuga Labs also plans to introduce various BAYC characters due to the respective owners being chosen as characters in the film. Coinbase’s terms stipulate that it will pay a $10,000 Bitcoin (BTC) or ApeCoin (APE) reward to the owner of each selected BAYC NFT, in exchange for licensing rights to the films.
The first season with the theme “RUN THE CHAIN” was released in July 2022 through YouTube and other social media platforms, with a roughly five-minute trailer showcasing the characters of the ApeCoin-themed treasure hunt. However, the trailer was widely criticized by the community, as the plot was quite confusing, mainly too much for APE.
The timing of the launch is also unfortunate for Coinbase, as the film comes after Coinbase laid off up to 1,100 employees in June 2022 amid the “crypto winter” that began to plague the entire market.
In addition to the layoffs, things changed significantly for BAYC and Apecoin not long after. Due to the general recession situation, the “heat” of BAYC also cooled down, causing the BAYC NFT floor price to quickly set the bottom of 2022.
Not only that, the consequences of accusing “promoting fascism” and “racism” and facing a class action lawsuit in June 2022, finally put Yuga Labs in the most difficult legal situation, the investigation from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
On the other hand, Coinbase’s NFT Marketplace – the strategic product expected to be driven by the BAYC series has also struggled hard so far. Having recorded weak revenue in the first week of launch, Coinbase Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee, also left the company in November 2022 ahead of additional layoffs.
Interestingly, in an August 2022 interview with journalist Laura Shin on the Unchained podcast, Surojit Chatterjee admitted that the goal in Degen Trilogy probably didn’t work for some users and said that it’s something the Coinbase development team tried to test.