Azuki: ‘We missed the mark’ on Elementals NFT mint

Quick Take

  • NFT project Azuki acknowledged it “missed the mark” on its Elementals launch and vowed to improve communication and execution to regain trust.
  • Yesterday’s launch was marred by a hectic mint process and a perceived dilution of the original Azuki collection, leading to significant price drops and community backlash.

Azuki is ready to admit it dropped the ball. 

Responding to community criticism that its new Elementals NFTs were too similar and dilutive to the original collection, the team acknowledged it “missed the mark,” vowing to improve its communication and execution to regain trust.

Azuki admitted the minting process for Elementals was hectic and had left its community confused as to how the  the new collection differed from the original Azukis. “We hear you - the mint process was hectic, the PFPs feel similar and, even worse, dilutive to Azuki,” the NFT project said in a statement on Twitter.

“We challenged ourselves to make four variations of almost every trait ... creating characters that feel consistent with their Azuki roots, while still offering something new,” it added. “However, our ambitious goals led to a new collection which confused the community on the tangible differences with the original Azuki collection.”

Azuki sought to clarify the original Azuki collection was its priority but acknowledged it needed to communicate and execute better to rebuild lost trust.

“The OG Azuki collection defined who we are, and will always have top priority and outsized allocation for all future rewards, drops, and experiences,” it said. “Azuki’s vision is to build a decentralized brand. Doing so requires great communication and execution, both of which were lacking with the Elementals sale. We know that we lost a piece of trust today, but nothing gets us more motivated to make things right.”

Duplicate concerns

In an earlier response to additional concerns over duplicates within the Elementals collection — with several NFTs found to have the same image — Azuki co-founder “2PMFLOW.ETH” said there had been a technical glitch.

“This was a technical glitch where the metadata for a few tokens was processed incorrectly due to event logs from a data provider that was outdated because of an Ethereum block reorg. We are on it right now to restore the correct images and metadata,” they said. 

Fellow co-founder “Location TBA” also said the mint was not up to Azuki’s standards, clarifying the team had underestimated the time needed between the mint’s phases. “We dropped the ball. I take personal responsibility for what happened and should have lengthened the presale windows."

Falling through the floor

The floor price for the Elementals collection has fallen below the mint price of 2 ETH to 1.79 ETH, according to the OpenSea NFT marketplace. The original Azuki collection floor price has fallen 31% to 9.5 ETH over the last 24 hours, leading to criticism over dilution.

"Azuki and BEANZ taking a beating after the launch of Elementals, both down 40-50% in the last 7 days," crypto analytics provider Nansen told The Block. "We’re seeing the highest daily trading volume since May 5, 2022 for Azuki," it added, with "net selling from existing Azuki holders in the last 24 hours — 5,849 ETH in buying, 8,469 ETH in selling. 137 buyers vs. 360 sellers."

Azuki's Elemental Beans NFT collection sold out within 15 minutes of launch yesterday, minting all 10,000 NFTs on sale before it even opened to the public. Consuming an Azuki Elemental Bean reveals the user's Azuki Elemental, an avatar that can control water, fire, earth or lightning, according to its OpenSea page.

The collection generated 20,000 ETH (around $37.5 million) in sales, with the first 20 minutes of the mint only available to Azuki or BEANZ holders. Elementals is the largest NFT mint by revenue since Yuga Labs generated $319 million from Otherdeeds for Otherside, according to The Block Research analyst Brad Kay.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.