Immutable zkEVM Invites Developers To Offset Gamer Gas Fees

Immutable argues gas fees pose significant barrier to onboarding mainstream gamers

By: Samuel Haig Loading...

Immutable zkEVM Invites Developers To Offset Gamer Gas Fees

Immutable announced that its forthcoming gaming-focused Layer 2 network, Immutable zkEVM, will introduce fee-free experiences for web3 gamers.

Announced on Dec. 12, Immutable said game developers building on its network can now abstract transaction fees away from players to improve user-experience.

Immutable said it will “sponsor” the gas fees of all users for a limited time following the zkEVM’s mainnet launch in early 2024. Michael Powell, head of product marketing at Immutable, told The Defiant that Immutable zkEVM's mainnet will go live in January.

Game developers will be able to sponsor the fees of gamers using Immutable Passport, Immutable’s non-custodial web3 wallet. Immutable estimated gas fee sponsorship will incur costs of between $500 and $1,000 per 100,000 users for developers.

“With proper game economy design, Immutable believes gas sponsorship will increase player adoption, conversion, and overall revenue for game studios, far outweighing the cost of gas,” the team said.

The Immutable zkEVM Layer 2 rollup will leverage Polygon’s technology to provide Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible transactions secured by zero-knowledge proofs. Immutable zkEVM’s testnet went live in August, and underwent a “regenesis” to migrate clients from Polygon Edge to Geth on Nov. 20.

Powell said the testnet has hosted more than 15,000 transactions during the first two weeks of December.

Immutable’s current Layer 2 network, Immutable X, ranks as the sixth-largest L2 by total value locked with $264M, according to L2beat.

GameFi rebounds

The news comes as GameFi assets are staging a comeback after suffering brutal losses amid the 2022 bear trend, with the sector’s combined capitalization rallying 83% since Oct. 30, according to CoinGecko.

Immutable’s IMX token is the sector’s largest asset with a $2.5B market cap following an impressive rally in recent months. IMX is up 43% in the past week, 78% in the past 30 days, and 370% in 12 months. However, the token remains down 79% from its November 2021 all-time high.

For comparison, top GameFi assets The Sandbox (SAND) and Axie Infinity (AXS) are up 6% and 7% over the past month and down 12% and 9% in 12 months respectively.

The recent web3 gaming rally has been bolstered by impressive performances from rising GameFi tokens including BEAM, GAFI, and ULTRA — each of which is up more than 35% in seven days.

Gas fees as barrier to mainstream adoption

Immutable described gas fees as posing a barrier to mainstream adoption and an unacceptable friction for mainstream gamers. The team noted that gas fees require players to hold the network token of a given blockchain to pay for gas fees, requiring that users on-ramp to crypto, trade digital assets, and bridge funds onto a specific network.

“To truly appeal to all gamers, web3 games must be able to offer players a familiar and streamlined user experience, making the blockchain components as effortless and native as possible,” said Alex Connolly, Immutable’s co-founder and CTO. “Gas fees are one of the most prohibitive elements when integrating digital asset ownership into games, and Immutable is setting the new standard by removing them from the player experience altogether.”