The Summoning is finally here. The long-awaited next step in Yuga Labs’ months-long interactive NFT mint mechanic is sure to set the Web3 community alight. Thousands of Sewer Pass holders are getting ready to burn their tokens in exchange for a Power Source, the item needed to advance to the next stage of the mint and reveal an as-of-yet unknown new set of NFTs.
The rest of the NFT world waits with bated breath; both supporters and critics of the Bored Ape Yacht Club brand are waiting to see what comes next for the project and how its effects will ripple outward to the rest of the industry.
But how did the company behind one of the biggest NFT names pull off the next stage of BAYC’s evolution with a play-to-earn (P2E) strategy at its heart? And, now that The Summoning is here, what does it mean for Sewer Pass holders and the future of the BAYC ecosystem? Here’s what you need to know.
Jimmy the Monkey + Dookey Dash
In December 2022, Yuga Labs teased where it would be taking the BAYC narrative with the release of a short film called The Trial of Jimmy the Monkey. The film’s story centered around a key, a chest, time-traveling apes, and…toilets. The irreverent tale set up the premise for a game that BAYC and MAYC holders would be able to play as a part of Yuga’s upcoming narrative-infused minting mechanic.
The game, Yuga later detailed, would enable holders to participate in The Summoning, a process allowing them to “summon” a unique and ambiguous Power Source via a burn mechanic. In January, the company revealed that holders of NFTs in these two collections were eligible to claim the Sewer Passes needed to access the game free of charge.
The fact that members of the BAYC universe were being led down a road to a gamified mint came as little surprise to the community. Yuga Labs has been betting hard on the growth and success of the P2E industry for some time now. In the fall of 2022, the company announced that it would onboard Spencer Tucker as its Chief Gaming Officer to help guide it through this transition.
Any doubt that it was taking that industry seriously was erased when Yuga revealed that Activision Blizzard’s President, Daniel Alegre, would be replacing Nicole Muniz as CEO. Both Tucker and Alegre were to bring some serious experience and knowledge of the gaming industry into Yuga’s fold.
Yuga’s bet on gaming paid off in a big way. On January 18, the game, entitled Dookey Dash, went live. Sewer Pass holders had two weeks to take part in the endless-runner style game, shooting through the sewers of the BAYC universe while dodging obstacles and collecting valuable items — all while competing for the ultimate prize: the Key.
By the time those two weeks were up, Sewer Passes had seen 37,000 ETH ($62 million) in trading on the secondary market. Holders had also racked up some serious hours playing the game, with 25,525 Sewer Pass holders combining for 7.5 million Dookey Dash runs (nearly 80 years’ worth of play time).
On February 16, Yuga Labs revealed who had claimed the number one spot on the Dookey Dash leaderboard. Kyle Jackson, a Fortnite player known as “Mongraal” in the eSports world, obtained a high score of 928,522 points, earning him the mysterious and coveted Key. Jackson went on to list The Key for 2,222 ETH on OpenSea, and it was eventually bought for 1,000 ETH by Adam Weitsman, the CEO of a scrap-metal shredding company with locations across New York and Pennsylvania.
Dookey Dash didn’t just prove that Yuga could pull off a gamified experience for its holders, it also expanded the BAYC universe. While speaking to nft now in February, Tucker noted that Dookey Dash helped grow its ecosystem by 40 percent.
But the Dookey Dash sewers would open one more time before closing permanently. On February 22, Yuga Labs re-opened the game for a week to allow Sewer Pass holders to play the game’s “Toad Mode.” This was a special version of the game that let users gather toads to unlock a companion trait for their Power Source. Toad Mode gave Sewer Pass holders with either a “N/A” rank or a score of zero the chance to participate in the game and log a valid ranking on the Sewer Pass leaderboard.
As of today, March 15, Sewer Pass holders can transform their passes into a Power Source. Dookey Dash scores will play a role in this: higher scores result in different types of Power Sources (presumably ones with rarer traits), and users can claim one of eight possible Power Sources.
These power sources are rumored to be a crucial part of a “mech type” of NFT. On January 19, Yuga tweeted an image showing sketch drawings of various mech-like robots, saying, “Gary the Dog Prophet licked a toad, stumbled into the swamp, and returned with this sketch he’d made. No idea what it means. He says it’s ‘The Future.'” The company also tweeted that “the cosmic war that looms in the distance will require as many mechs as we can get.” The mechs are part of a new collection called HV-MTL.
There has been much speculation in the BAYC community about the role mechas will play in future mints, with some noting that various plots of land in Otherside (an MMORPG linked to the BAYC ecosystem) contain artifacts called “mecha pieces.”
Yuga has made it clear that these power sources will be used in future minigames to reach the “Evo 2 stage and beyond,” making it apparent that the gamification strategy it employed for Dookey Dash was far from a one-off event.
Furthermore, Yuga noted upon launch of the Summoning that approximately 3,500 Sewer Passes were never claimed, and 789 were claimed but are ineligible for the Summoning. These unclaimed passes will be available to the BAYC community in the future, but for now, they will be held in a Yuga wallet till the next minigame is ready to launch.
For now, those that do hold an eligible Sewer Pass can visit MDvMM.xyz/summoning to claim a power source. And to the pleasure of holders, Yuga says that the claim will be open indefinitely, with more information on the intersection of Power Sources and mechas to come.
What’s next for Bored Ape Yacht Club?
Notably, The Summoning is just one of several stages of BAYC development that Yuga has had laid out for some time. According to MDvMM.xyz — a website Yuga Labs set up to help people keep track of its ongoing expansion — the stage after The Summoning will come sometime in late March and involve the reveal of holders’ “mech types,” alluding to the science-fiction tradition of giant robots piloted by people.
Even beyond the current goings-on with the Jimmy the Monkey saga, Yuga has reignited the flame of hype surrounding the aforementioned Otherside MMORPG. On March 8, the company announced that the “2nd Trip” — the sequel to the mass metaverse event that helped launch the Otherside — would kick off on March 25. The event will be attainable to those holding Otherdeeds and will present an opportunity to collect a “FIRST TRIP Obelisk” NFT.
Between The Summoning, mecha reveal, and the 2nd Trip, BAYC holders and general fans of Yuga projects surely have a lot to look forward to. And with the second quarter of 2023 nearly here, there will undoubtedly be more cause for excitement as the MDvMM.xyz roadmap rolls on.