Even with the inclusion of collectibles from the Nickelodeon, Paramount, and Hello Kitty back catalogs, the NFT platform Recur is calling it quits after several years of pumping the internet full of monetized images of The Godfather’s similarly ineffective Fredo.
Recur declared it was winding down operations in a Twitter post last Friday. The company blamed “unforeseen challenges and shifts in the business landscape” for the move. Already, users are unable to buy or sell their favorite Tommy Pickles NFT on the Recur marketplace, though they’re still able to cash out on their rapidly depreciating digital assets if they can find a buyer elsewhere.
By November, Recur will disable deposits and will slowly take its websites offline. But even after it’s all said and done, Recur promised that users should still be able to access the media and metadata for their non-fungible tokens through the peer-to-peer open file-sharing network IPFS.
Recur spent last year announcing big NFT collections from major companies like Paramount and Sanrio with collections of Star Trek ships and characters from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. After the company started selling an NFT collection based on Rugrats and Hey Arnold! in July, 2022, Recur announced demand for that set was at “an unprecedented level” causing a backlog in requests.
As first reported by Decrypt, the value of Recur’s offerings has plummeted. The company once sold a “Recur Pass” that allowed exclusive, early access to major NFT drops. These passes once went for $300 back in 2021. They were so sought after that one sold for $88,888 back in February of 2022. They now sell for just a few dollars each according to Recur’s official portal.
This latest loss in the NFT community follows a trend that started last year, as token trading volume has dipped precipitously since highs seen back in April 2022. It hasn’t been a good time for brand-name tokens. Earlier this month, fellow NFT creator Nifty also declared it was shutting its doors. The company had minted The Matrix and Game of Thrones NFTs that were so horrible even NFT proponents were confused about just how low the brand names could sink.
Even as Recur becomes yet another Web3 platform to crater in the ongoing crypto winter, some late-to-the-game rights holders could still hold out some hope for NFTs. Earlier this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted CBS Studios a trademark for Star Trek Continuum NFTs, which was the same name advertised by Recur for the original, soon-to-be worthless token collection. The trademark was registered back in May, and it specifically mentioned crypto collectibles and NFT art and video clips. Gizmodo reached out to Paramount for comment if it has any future plans for further tokenizing its beloved, post-capitalistic franchise, but we did not immediately hear back.
Though now might not be the time for any new token drop, as things have not been going swimmingly for the largest NFT marketplace on the internet, OpenSea. The company announced that starting Aug. 31 it would start making royalty fees optional. The company claimed that it wanted to offer a greater level of “choice” for NFT holders. Competing NFT service Blur—which eclipsed OpenSea as the largest NFT platform by trading volume in October last year—only enforces a minimum royalty fee of .5%.
In reality, this was a move to attract more sellers onto the market whose assets already trade at such low prices. It also defeats one of token proponents’ original stated reasons for NFTs—that they would help support artists. OpenSea’s move didn’t just piss off artists. Yuga Labs, the makers of Bored Ape Yacht Club, said Friday it would stop supporting the NFT platform.