Owners of Yuga Labs’ famous “Bored Ape” non-mungible tokens (and related crypto tokens) get free access to a simple endless runner/tunnel racing game called Native Dash today. But some members of the “exclusive” Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is already selling a chance to play the time-limited game for thousands of dollars on the secondary market.
Listings on the OpenSea exchange show a current floor price of 1.49 ETH (about $2,293) for a “Sewer Pass” NFT that gives access to Native Dash until February 8. In less than 24 hours, the exchange has seen 8,394 ETH (about $12.8 million) in Sewage Pass transactions, with some passes selling for as high as 5.75 ETH (about $8,770).
While laundry trading and/or crypto laundering may be driving some of those Sewage Pass transactions, some players are clearly clamoring for access to Native Dash and that they are willing to spend to get it. But that claim isn’t driven by any kind of novelty or transcendent game experience offered by Yuga Labs. Instead, NFT speculators are trying to use the game to get in on the ground floor of what they hope will be the next artificially scarce high-demand digital asset.
Avoid obstacles for a high score
As seen in a highly scatological trailer released this week, Native Dash like a slightly modern version of everyone’s favorite level from earthworm Jim. Players fly through a sewer tunnel from an over-the-shoulder perspective, avoiding obstacles and collecting items to score points, just like you do in countless free mobile and web games.
In an extensive FAQ, Yuga Labs describes Native Dash as “skill-based mint.” That means the highest score of player i Native Dash tied to the NFT player’s Sewer Pass (one Sewer Pass allows as many attempts as a player can tolerate before the February 8th deadline is reached). Sewer Pass holders will then be able to trade their pass for a mysterious “Power Source” NFT during “The Summoning,” which begins on February 15th.
The quality of those Power Sources will apparently be tied to the relative position of each Sewer Pass on the game’s final leaderboard, with rarer “traits” associated with higher scores. The player at the top of the leaderboard is the only one who gets the “ultimate Power Source,” whatever that means.
Yuga Labs promises it has “anti-cheat checks” in place to ensure human players are generating those high scores, and says it will review game sessions that “raise red flags.” But players looking to get a legal advantage in the game can get a score boost with a higher tier of Sewer Pass (generated by better tiers of Bored Ape and/or related digital pets). Players can also spend their ApeCoin crypto on a “powershart pack” (yes, that’s the actual name) for time-limited boosters, putting money directly into Yuga Labs’ pockets in the process.