Web3 and the entire NFT sector are at a crossroads. Many marketplaces are choosing to break the foundational contract with creators and make royalty payments optional. As we’ve said before, this is a bad idea.
Today I’d like to outline our take on the situation and lay out what our current plans are. Obviously, this is a rapidly changing ecosystem, and plans must adapt along with (or in spite of) market conditions.
Creator Royalties are Good
First, here is what we at the Unioverse believe:
- Creators should receive royalties. This fundamental mechanism of NFTs is part of what makes them revolutionary.
- We are creators and will fight for other creators. A rising tide should lift all boats.
- There is still a chance to reverse the current trend of optional royalties and pressure current marketplaces to respect creator royalties or lose their market share. The window to accomplish this, however, is rapidly closing.
- If royalties disappear, current creators will suffer, fewer new creators will launch, and the adoption of NFTs will be set back by many, many years.
How the Unioverse Will Enforce Royalties
This is our plan for our upcoming mint of Unioverse Collectibles.
- These are FREE NFTs (we are paying gas too!) with a 10% creator royalty.
- These NFTs have utility, and we believe delivering on that utility creates an ecosystem where everyone’s incentives are aligned.
- We have created a smart contract for the collection, and a second contract that records which marketplaces are Allowed/Denied by Marketplace smart contract addresses. This second contract can have markets added or removed by us, at any time.
- All our future NFTs will refer to this same secondary contract list.
Our challenge to all marketplaces is simple: if you respect our royalties we will eagerly participate on your marketplace. If you don’t, we will block it. Marketplaces can message our Twitter @theunioverse if you want a whitelist.
Our guidance to our collectors is this: Only use marketplaces that respect creator royalties. If you end-run royalties, we reserve the right to detect that and disable an NFT’s ongoing utility. A reminder that the Unioverse is a game-first franchise, so disabling an NFT could impact not just appearance, but future gameplay as well. Protecting creator royalties ultimately protects collectors as well, because it preserves the alignment of incentives between us all.
We do not like going against the spirit of marketplace decentralization, and fully expect future technologies to better resolve this issue. At this juncture, however, we believe it’s in everyone’s best interest (including the marketplaces!) to fight on behalf of creators.
We encourage current collections to consider re-minting (airdropping) with new smart contracts, and hope communities support and adopt the newly minted versions. Independent creators interested in learning more about our Terms of Service and smart contract approach can reach out to us on Twitter or join our Discord. You can also view our smart contract and allowlist code online.
If creators can work together as a community and reward marketplaces that respect creator rights, then we can strengthen the health and longevity of the NFT industry for everyone involved.