Today’s Azuki Elementals launch was one of the hottest NFT drops in quite some time, with 10,000 Ethereum profile pictures (PFPs) selling out in around 15 minutes and generating some $38 million worth of ETH for Chiru Labs. But the vibe appears to be souring, as some holders are selling Elementals well under the mint price amid uproar over the artwork.
Azuki Elementals NFTs sold for 2 ETH (about $3,800) apiece in the initial mint today, with another 10,000 of the NFTs airdropped free to holders of the original Azuki NFTs.
But following this afternoon’s artwork reveal, which took place after the mint, prices are falling fast—the NFTs are listed as low as 1.6 ETH (about $3,025) on the OpenSea marketplace as of this writing. Not long after the artwork was revealed, prices fell as low as 1.32 ETH ($2,490).
ONE IS AN AZUKI AND ONE IS AN ELEMENTAL…. OMG … WHAT THE FCKKKKKKKKKK … I am down so much fucking money man …. FUCKKKKNN pic.twitter.com/KGFyEipXzb
— Wizard Of SoHo (🍷,🍷) (@wizardofsoho) June 27, 2023
Many holders and other NFT collectors and creators have taken to social media to complain about the look of the Azuki Elementals, with artwork that is broadly similar to that of the original anime-inspired Azuki PFPs.
Put side-by-side, some of the new Elementals NFTs are nearly identical to the originals save for small details and alterations. People have also spotted odd imperfections with the artwork, such as a person holding a magical wand that appears to have no handle at all.
“Azuki stole their own artwork wtf,” joked pseudonymous trader Wizard of SoHo.
Charlotte Fang, co-founder of the Milady Maker NFT project, called the Azuki Elementals artwork “basically identical” to that of the original collection. “Blue chip bagholders in disbelief,” she added.
Fears that the Elementals collection will dilute the appeal and value of the original Azuki project have apparently led to a mass sell-off for those NFTs, as well. The floor price—or cheapest listed NFT on a secondary marketplace—for Azuki has fallen about 32% over the last 24 hours to a current price of 9.35 ETH (about $17,650), per data from NFT Price Floor.
“Azuki managed to nuke the perception of the new collection and the genesis at the same time? Extremely impressive,” tweeted the pseudonymous Solana Legend, managing partner at Frictionless Capital.
Some collectors have speculated that Chiru Labs released largely similar Elementals artwork as a fake-out of sorts, with hopes that the Web3 startup will update the artwork and use the pushback to build engagement around the new collection.
I feel like they would have made it more ironic if that was the case.
— Frank III (@frankdegods) June 27, 2023
“My money is on the Azuki team doing this on purpose, for FUD and attention, to update the metadata with epic art,” tweeted pseudonymous NFT collector and entrepreneur, Zeneca.
Decrypt reached out to Chiru Labs for comment, but did not immediately receive a statement in response.