Yuga Labs Hit With Gas Fee Backlash…Again

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  • Yuga Labs faced criticism last week for high NFT minting fees in its Otherside metaverse
  • Users were disappointed to find that their ‘free’ gift came with a huge minting fee
  • The issue pertains to the Otherside still relying on Ethereum’s mainnet

Yuga Labs, the owner Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks NFT collections, encountered criticism last week over high fees associated with minting NFTs in its Otherside metaverse. The controversy erupted when Yuga announced that players completing a mission in the Legends of the Mara game on Otherside could claim on-chain collectibles called “Loot” as rewards, only to find encounter excessive minting fees on the Ethereum blockchain. Yuga Labs has received criticism in the past over such matters, particularly when Otherside launched in May 2022.

When ‘Free’ Isn’t Free

Legends of the Mara players were taken aback by the huge gas fees incurred during the NFT, particularly since “Loot” was initially promoted as a free perk, leading to  Yuga Labs’ Chief Gaming Officer, Spencer Tucker, announcing that affected users could claim a free in-game perk called “Catalyst” as compensation.

However, this gesture failed to appease players, who argued that it didn’t tackle the underlying issues with Otherside’s reliance on Ethereum’s expensive mainnet for on-chain transactions when sidechains such as Optimism and Polygon are far cheaper alternatives and equally as reliable.

Will Yuga Labs Consider a Move Away?

In May 2022, a similar issue arose during the minting of virtual land deeds in Otherside, resulting in substantial transaction costs totaling $157 million and widespread frustration among users. This led to a community vote to move away from Ethereum, but the community voted to remain, leading to the issue raising its head again.

Following further backlash, Yuga’s co-founder, Greg Solano, announced the abandonment of the free Catalyst giveaway and committed to fully covering and reimbursing all gas fees incurred by Otherside players during NFT minting.

Concerns persist, however, among Otherside players regarding the platform’s dependence on Ethereum and its failure to explore more cost-effective alternatives, which surely now have to be strongly considered to avoid a repeat.