Immutable and Polygon Labs have formed a strategic alliance to accelerate the adoption of Web3 games.
Immutable is the company behind ImmutableX and Immutable zkEVM to scale Web3 gaming transactions on Ethereum. Polygon Labs creates layer 2 Ethereum scaling solutions for the Polygon blockchain protocol.
The alliance brings together two companies that received about $2 billion in investor funding in 2022. The companies hope this will have a significant positive impact on the multi-billion dollar gaming landscape. They’re announcing it today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
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Zero-Knowledge Proofs Are Key
As part of the alliance, Immutable will equip its platform products with Polygon’s zero-knowledge technology to accelerate digital ownership for gamers around the world. This alliance simplifies the decision-making process for game studios and developers and provides business leaders with smart and secure choices that accelerate time to market and access an ecosystem that will become one of the largest and most liquid for end users. the companies said.
According to Wyatt, zero-knowledge proofs have led to much greater computing efficiency on the blockchain. Zero knowledge allows a blockchain protocol like Polygon to know that something is true or correct without requiring much more information and computation, thus getting rid of a lot of unnecessary data and associated computational waste. An Ethereum zero-knowledge virtual machine (zkEVM) is a virtual machine that executes smart contract transactions in such a way that, on the one hand, it works with zero-knowledge computing, and on the other hand, with the existing Ethereum infrastructure.
At the heart of this new relationship is the Immutable zkEVM, a new zero-knowledge drive compatible with the Ethereum virtual machine, based on Polygon technology and with full support for the Immutable platform. Using the Immutable zkEVM with the Immutable Platform will make Web3-enabled game development faster, easier, and less risky for major game studios and independent developers alike.
Widely touted as the holy grail of Ethereum scaling, zkEVM technology significantly reduces transaction processing times and fees while remaining fully compatible with Ethereum and maintaining its robust security model.
“It actually allows us to scale a lot,” said Ryan Wyatt, president of Polygon Labs, in an interview with GamesBeat. “And it also increases our security. This will allow us to store more information and scale it while maintaining greater security. So for us, that sets us up for really mass adoption. How do you process hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions that take place on the network?
What the alliance means for game developers
For Immutable, this means the company will be able to attract more game developers to its platform than ever before.
“Ultimately, this is the leading Web3 gaming platform for us, bringing together the leading blockchain protocols Immutable and Polygon to create a one-stop vertically integrated solution for game developers and gamers,” said Robbie Ferguson, Immutable. president in an interview with GamesBeat. “And that means that our efforts can now be focused on how we connect the next billion players to Web3, rather than how we optimize our current small ecosystem of Web3 players today.”
Still in its infancy, Web3 gaming has been held back by a lack of high-quality games and a lack of scalable, enterprise-grade platform tools. It didn’t help that some Western game developers and gamers spoke out against blockchain games.
“When we think about what our goal for Polygon is to have a protocol that is really easy for developers to use. And for users to be able to work and use all the different apps that this ecosystem has,” Wyatt said. “So this is the mandate. And basically, when I look at Immutable, it’s the best gaming platform for making Web3 games. It’s great to be a gamer within this ecosystem. And so for us, it felt like the best storytelling we’ve ever had.”
He said that Polygon is the base layer of the protocol, and in 2021 he spent a billion dollars to acquire three different zero-knowledge commands. These “zkEVM updates” have changed the competition.
“This has allowed us to really scale our infrastructure, scale our transactions, and really handle the demand and volume that we know will come with the adoption of Web3 games as they become mainstream,” Wyatt said. “When we looked at the unchanging, our goals were actually really aligned. You want to create this great ecosystem for game developers to plug in and focus on making great games and chaining it all together. And we’re trying to serve as the protocol that powers everything from Starbucks to Nike to Square Enix and everything in between. And so for us there was great harmony in our relations. After all, we thought it would be great for game developers. And what’s good for game developers is good for gamers.”
This collaboration will make it easier for studios and developers to create high-quality games that support true asset ownership.
“By combining the #1 Web3 gaming platform currently serving hundreds of game studios and millions of gamers with Polygon’s best-in-class zkEVM technology, we are building an Ethereum-centric gaming ecosystem that is poised to take Web3 mainstream and bring digital ownership to millions. people all over the world,” Ferguson said. “Billions of dollars worth of skins are sold every year with no player rights – we are changing that so players are in control and ownership is an expectation.”
Ferguson said security has always been important to any scaling solutions the company uses. By expanding to the Polygon-based Immutable zkEVM, Immutable will be able to expand to custom scaling and be able to cover many more clients and the transactions they bring with them.
“What Immutable offers is an incredibly simple platform for game developers,” said Ferganson. “You have this liquidity unification infrastructure where no matter which of these zkEVMs you build on, you have full interoperability of funds, user wallets and asset trades. And you can also trade between any markets with an immutable global order book that has more than doubled the volume of every game on our platform today because over half of our trades come from a different market than the one originally listed. ”
Two powerful blockchains
Immutable and Polygon have seen significant growth over the past two years, thanks in part to their close ties to the Ethereum community.
Polygon Labs, the Polygon decentralized protocol design and development team, has built one of the world’s largest ecosystems for Web3 gaming applications (decentralized applications) in less than two years, working with studios and publishers such as Square Enix, Neowiz, Midnight Society, Plai Labs and Tilting Point, as well as esports teams and streamers such as Cloud9 and Dr. Disrespect. Polygon experienced a huge increase in usage with a 94% increase in activity from 2021 to 2022.
“The partnership with Immutable is a huge step forward in our mission to empower developers and empower users to truly own their gaming assets. Using the best world-class gaming platform Immutable, game development becomes seamless, allowing you to create rich and unique gaming experiences,” said Wyatt.
Known as the first NFT zk drive on Ethereum, Immutable has experienced significant growth with over 140 new games based on the existing platform, including the highly anticipated Illuvium, brands such as GameStop, DC Comics, TikTok, Marvel. , Warner Bros Discovery Sports and IP from Disney and Star Wars via Ecomi. Last month, he partnered with gaming giant Unity to give game developers seamless access to Web3 games.
Immutable noted that the Immutable zkEVM provides game developers with additional options and does not replace the Starkware-based Immutable X solution.
Scaling solutions, originally developed by Polygon Labs, have become widespread with tens of thousands of decentralized applications, more than 220.8 million unique addresses, more than 1.18 million smart contracts created, and 2.48 billion transactions processed since inception. The existing Polygon network is home to some of the biggest Web3 projects such as Aave, Uniswap, and OpenSea, as well as notable enterprises including Robinhood, Stripe, and Adobe. Polygon Labs has stated that it is carbon neutral with the goal of leading Web3 by going carbon negative.
Make Web3 Massive
Of course, these sorts of alliances aren’t that interesting unless mainstream gamers adopt blockchain games. In 2021, conversations about blockchain games have not been as positive, Wyatt noted, as there has been a lot of criticism that blockchain games were scams, uninteresting, or otherwise unimportant.
“Last year there was a lot of attention [on blockchain games] for the wrong reasons,” Wyatt said. “I think this is a year where people are starting to have a better understanding and a more open mind about what technical solutions are on offer and what you can do in terms of game development with those technical solutions.”
Wyatt said it was fair to criticize early Web3 games as “incredibly unappealing”. But he noted that more than $2 billion of capital has been invested in blockchain games, and they have not yet appeared.
He believes that the conversation will be different at GDC 2023. He believes that in the long term, digital property will be the backbone of games.
“What you’re going to start to see on the horizon are really exciting games that I think we as gamers can look at and be really enthusiastic about,” Wyatt said. “Our goal this week is just to simplify things at the end of the day. For games to be successful, they just have to be great games. And you just have to focus on making games that people want to play. This is often overlooked in this narrative of the Web3 blockchain. Basically, it is a technology stack and infrastructure that people can connect to. We’re going back to the basics of making great games.”
Separately, Ferguson said that a tokenomics update is now underway as the company expands to EVM and smart contract-compatible environments. Immutable will redesign the $IMX utility with several improvements. Thus, $IMX will be the main gas currency of the Immutable zkEVM, which will be used to prioritize and sequence transactions.