Top layer 2 Ethereum scalers Immutable and Polygon Labs have today announced a heavyweight web3 gaming “strategic alliance” with the formation of Immutable zkEVM.

Immutable, an Aussie-founded company, is the founder of one of the top web3 gaming platforms – ImmutableX (IMX). And that’s a blockchain on which leading developing games Illuvium, Gods Unchained, Guild of Guardians and many others are built. Last month it partnered with gaming giant Unity to provide millions of game developers access to web3 gaming.

Meanwhile, Polygon Labs is the creator of top Ethereum scaling protocol Polygon (MATIC) – a huge blockchain network that’s home to some of the biggest web projects in the space including Aave, Uniswap, OpenSea and countless other enterprises.

In less than two years, Polygon Labs has built one of the world’s largest ecosystems for web3 gaming dApps, working with studios and publishers like Square Enix, Neowiz, Midnight Society, Plai Labs, and Tilting Point, as well as esports teams and streamers like Cloud9 and Dr Disrespect. 

In total, games building on the two entities received close to US$2 billion in investor funding in 2022, which makes this a potentially powerhouse partnership that could have a big impact on the web3 gaming landscape.

Capturing even a fraction of the broader gaming market (3 billion active gamers worldwide) is huge business but the web3 gaming faithful certainly tend to believe that blockchain tech integrating digital-asset ownership is the way the industry is heading.

Major gaming studios such as Ubisoft, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, and Epic Games have all made moves, to varying degrees, into decentralised gaming, exploring aspects of asset ownership, greater monetisation interoperability, and player/user involvement with game creation and development.

Within the crypto industry itself, gaming is one of the fastest growing sub sectors, accounting for nearly half of all industry activity, according to DappRadar.

That said, the sector is still in its infancy and at present there is a dearth of quality games that are playable right now, although we can confirm Undead Blocks is a whole lot of zombie-shooting fun.

The other aforementioned Immutable titles, however, plus other competing games in development including Shrapnel, DeadDrop, Star Atlas and Civitas provide serious AAA-contending hope for the future.


What is Immutable zkEVM?

At the core of the alliance is Immutable zkEVM, which is a new Ethereum-compatible zk-rollup that feeds off Polygon’s zkEVM tech.

It’s essentially a mash-up of Polygon tech with Immutable platform support. According to info supplied to Coinhead, the aim is to make the development of web-enabled games “faster, easier and less risky for large game studios and independent developers alike”.

Zk-rollups are regarded by many as best-in-class Ethereum-scaling technology – although Optimism (OP) and Arbitrum (ARB), both built on a foundation of optimistic rollup tech might have a fair bit to say about that.

Neverthless, Polygon’s zkEVM version of rollup scaling tech claims to significantly lower transaction-processing times and fees, while remaining fully robust from a security aspect and fully compatible with Ethereum.


Aiming to put players in control 

“By combining the #1 web3 gaming platform – currently serving hundreds of game studios and millions of players – 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 of people around the world,” said Robbie Ferguson, Immutable President and Co-Founder.

 “Billions of dollars of skins are sold each year with no rights for players – we’re changing that so players are in control, and ownership is the expectation.”

“Partnering with Immutable is a monumental step forward in our mission to empower developers and enable users to truly own their in-game assets,” added Ryan Wyatt, President of Polygon Labs.

“By leveraging Immutable’s top world-class gaming platform, game development becomes seamless, allowing for the creation of rich and unique gaming experiences.”