Yuga Labs Plans to Part Ways with OpenSea NFT Marketplace Following Royalty Model Change

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / alexandarilich

Yuga Labs, the entity behind the popular NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), is set to halt support for OpenSea due to a change in the platform’s royalty model. 

In a Saturday tweet, Yuga Labs announced that it plans to wind down support for OpenSea following the upcoming removal of Operator Filter, an on-chain royalty enforcement tool. 

“Yuga Labs will begin the process of sunsetting support for OpenSea’s SeaPort for all upgradable contracts and any new collections, with the aim of this being complete in February 2024 in tandem with OpenSea’s approach,” the announcement reads. 

OpenSea introduced Operator Filter in November last year as a means for creators to ensure that secondary sales of their NFTs only occur on marketplaces that enforce creator royalties. 

This feature effectively filtered out platforms like Blur from participating in such sales. 

However, OpenSea recently announced its decision to “sunset” the tool by the end of August. 

The platform cited a lack of adoption within the ecosystem, loopholes that allowed platforms to bypass the tool, and pushback from creators as the reasons behind this move.

In response to OpenSea’s decision, Yuga Labs took to Twitter to share the company’s plan to gradually wind down its use of OpenSea’s Seaport marketplace smart contract. 

The company reiterated its commitment to protecting creator royalties, ensuring that creators are adequately compensated for their work.

BAYC Community Supports Yuga Labs Decision

The announcement from Yuga Labs was met with a positive reaction from the BAYC community, as well as content creators and founders of other notable NFT projects like EllioTrades and Alex Becker

Dotta, CEO and co-founder of the Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult NFT project, expressed support for Yuga Labs’ decision, highlighting the power of creators to shift towards marketplaces that prioritize royalty payments.

“The creators have enough power in aggregate to move to royalty paying marketplaces,” they said in a recent tweet. “Yuga leading the charge is the spark that was needed.”

Likewise, Luca Netz, the CEO of the Pudgy Penguins NFT project, seemed to indicate that his project might follow a similar course as Yuga Labs.

The issue of creator royalties has become a divisive topic within the NFT community over the past year. 

Initially, enforcing creator royalties was the norm during the NFT boom in 2021. 

However, marketplaces like Blur entered the scene in October 2022, offering zero trading fees and an optional creator royalty payment model. 

This disrupted the market and led to a decrease in trading fees and royalty percentages as platforms competed for users.

Currently, there is a clear divide within the NFT community between those who prefer the cheaper trading model offered by platforms like Blur and advocate for alternative methods of compensating creators, and those who strongly support the payment of royalties.