How do we establish which NFT projects should be recognized as the best? Is it secondary market sales volume? Project market cap? I think these things play an important role in evaluating the success of a team. But I don’t think it’s the end-all-be-all of a project if they aren’t in the Top 5 of these measures.
Especially this early in the game.
Some of the projects that I think will be great long-term communities are nowhere near meeting those metrics. At least right now. But when you look at a project that is keeping promises, consistently building, and developing a community out of the limelight, maybe that group is the group that in the end, will rise to the top of the industry.
The ADA Ninjaz are much more than 3 seasons of Profile Picture NFTs. The team has built a comic book series, released several original songs, and at least 1 music video, and they have a working (Alpha) game that’s actually fun to play. The leadership has kept every promise they’ve made, and they aren’t slowing down as they sprint through their roadmap.
It All Starts With The Lore
When you’re building a brand like ADA Ninjaz, you need to have great lore to keep the community interested. The Ninjaz have allowed their holders to be a part of creating that lore with several fan-lore contests. The winners are published on the website and become official parts of the lore. To me, this is a genius move. What could be a better way of keeping a community involved than literally involving the community?
Basically, the lore of ADA Ninjaz revolves around 3 Clans. Revealed in 3 separate NFT collections, the clans are:
- Aramar (Season 1)
- Atsuko (Season 2)
- Daisuke (Season 3)
Each Clan has its own lore, its own members, and its own traits that make the family unique. For instance, the Aramar Clan are the self-appointed “Guardians” of Ninava, protecting mainly against the Atsuko, who have been branded as mafia and outlaws. The Daisuke mostly shun all other groups. They concentrate on taking care of the land and are guided by a shamanistic soul. These traits are exemplified in the NFT collections that are attached to each Clan.
These diverse Clans keep Ninava interesting, and in a general state of war.
The Manga, also known as a graphic novel, is another powerful tool for the ADA Ninjas to extend the lore and drama of Ninava into action. As of this writing, there are already digital versions available that follow the Aramar and Atsuko Clans which are updated each fortnight (2 weeks) and sold as NFTs.
Since ADA Ninjaz is a product with heavy anime overtones, it makes sense to distribute Mangas to expand both the project’s content and reach in a form that would be familiar to fans of Anime.
The team behind the Ninjaz could have taken the easy route and not produced the Mangas. Producing on a timeline as quickly as a fortnight is very rigorous. This, however, is another example of how leadership on the project is focused on developing a well-rounded product even if it’s not the quickest and easiest route.
Don’t Forget About The Tunez
The Ada Ninjaz basically have their own record label. Musical artists like Katie Belle (American Idol), IAGO, and Billy Martin (Good Charlotte) have signed on to help with the music. The Ninjaz even have their own Spotify channel where you can hear the songs the group has produced to date. Their Youtube Channel even hosts several videos including the official lyric video for the song “Aramar”.
The Ninjaz have also launched an NFT Music Pass that will give holders “Direct access to influence and participate in the production of all future soundtracks e.g. sing, narrate, perform, mix, etc and credits provided.”
The name recognition that the team has pulled into the ecosystem is an absolute boon for the Ninjaz. The fact that they then turned it out to the rank-and-file to guide the direction is amazing.
The Ada Ninjaz Have A Working Game
I can attest that their Alpha for Ninjaz Shards Of Ninava is in fine working condition. I played it for at least an hour while “researching” and it was actually pretty fun to play. It was easy to pick up and I even got to pick a Clan. It’s a fighting game where you are bombarded by a whole slew of opposing Ninjaz and you have to fight them all off before your avatar expires.
They are currently in phase 0 of the game. The next phase will usher in the entire game with token utilization. Phase 3 will add multiplayer gameplay among other things, and the following stages will add guilds and tournaments, custom arenas, and eventually cross-chain gameplay.
The fact that they’ve already built a working game bodes well for the team’s ability to meet their objectives.
ADA Ninjas Are Making A Television Series
According to the Ninjaz Wiki, screenwriting has already begun for the 12-episode animated series. ADAn: The Eye of Our Storm is the title and the series centers around the protagonist ADAn, who is a young wannabe freedom-hacker. ADAn is thrust into a growing war between the three great clans of his country when a piece of an ancient powerful katana unknowingly falls into his hands. A mysterious force then works tirelessly to take it, and his freedom away.
It makes perfect sense that The ADA Ninjaz would make an animated series. And, with screenwriting underway and talks being set up with animation studios, this could be the crown jewel of the project. Imagine the reach the Ninjaz could have with an animated series. Anime is on fire at all the streaming services right now, I have 3 children that watch it incessantly.
The Fourth Season Approaches
At the end of August 2022, holders that own a Ninja will be able to burn four NinjaZ to create a Season Four Avatar. To participate, holders have to burn one token from each clan, and another NFT of their choice. There will be 2,222 Ninjaz born from this burn, and they will also be given real names.
These 2,222 Ninjaz will get huge staking rewards for the #NINJAZ token, earning 50 tokens a day. They’ll also receive a 40,000 airdrop, which should outearn the 4 burned NinjaZ. And with only 2,222 NFTs available for the Fourth season, these NinjaZ will be much rarer than the NFTs holders burned.
Not only will you get a new Ninja out of the burn, but the metadata will also show the information on the burned Ninjaz as a kind of memorial of their sacrifice. They’ll be gone, but not forgotten.
A Look Beyond Utility
ADA Ninjaz has a lot of things being built at once. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of you guys that have made it this far are wondering if the team behind the project has too much going on to make all the facets work properly. It is a lot. Of course, the ADA Ninjaz team isn’t simply 3 guys in their parent’s basement doing all this work alone. The team consists of nearly 30 people and they are all doxed. This is a group that has leveraged its personal reputation on this project. With that many people working in the community, it’s possible to get it all done.
Even with 30 people, there is still a lot on the team’s plate. Everything they are doing is extraordinary. Most projects don’t have a music team OR a screenplay team, let alone both. Let’s be honest, even with nearly 30 people to divide up the load, it’s still going to take some heavy lifting to pull it all off.
But here’s the deal. They’ve met every goal they’ve set in a timely manner so far. They have done more work in a little less than a year than most projects will do in their collections’ lifespan. They’ve made the right connections and brought serious artists into the mix. They are literally doing everything right
Why Aren’t The ADA Ninjaz A Top 10 Volume Project?
That’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. If they’ve done everything right (and they have), why are they only the 66th-ranked project by volume of Cardano NFTs? That’s not a question I’m honestly able to answer. Here’s what I know; if there is a project that has set itself up for the kind of long-term growth most NFT teams dream of, ADA Ninjaz is that project. They’re building more than just an NFT project. They are building a brand. A brand that can transcend not only the Cardano NFT ecosystem but the NFT industry as a whole.
I bet the team barely keeps up with the kind of metrics that people like me look at to determine if a project is successful or not. They probably look at different metrics than we do. I bet they know that there are nearly 6500 wallets holding Ninjaz at the time of this writing and that their floor price for the Manga NFTs is double that of their PFP collections. Seems to me that the ADA Ninjaz spends little time worrying about what the rest of the ecosystem thinks is important. I think they worry about enhancing the user and holder experience all the time. to the nearly 30 team members and 6500 holders, that’s the metric that makes ADA Ninjaz a success.