Immutable’s zkEVM to eliminate Web3 gaming gas fees


Web3 gaming firm Immutable is set to completely cut out gas fee payments for gamers when its proprietary zero-knowledge proof-based (ZK-proofs) scaling platform goes live in early 2024.

Immutable zkEVM provides the technology for blockchain-based game developers to remove transaction fees from end users, which is touted to create a “frictionless onboarding” experience for gamers.

Web3 games built on blockchain protocols typically require gamers to pay the gas fees paid to network validators for processing transactions. Before the advent of layer-2 scaling protocols, Ethereum-based decentralized applications (DApps) and services relied solely on validators and miners pre-Merge to process smart contract operations and their associated transactions.

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While this mechanism is an integral part of protocols like Ethereum and plays a role in the decentralization and operation of the blockchain, it remains an obstacle for conventional gamers who are used to transaction-free gaming experiences.

Immutable chief technology officer Alex Connolly highlighted this aspect in a statement shared with Cointelegraph, explaining that Web3 games need to offer players a “familiar and streamlined user experience” to make its blockchain base unnoticeable:

“There are a couple of norms in the blockchain space that mainstream players simply won’t accept — gas fees fall into that category.”

Connolly said that gas fees remain prohibitive when integrating digital asset ownership into games, making the provisions of Immutable’s zkEVM an interesting prospect for the future of Web3 games.

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Game developers will be able to sponsor gas fee payments through the Immutable zkEVM, canceling out these transactions for Immutable Passport users. Immutable also plans to sponsor gas fees for all of its ecosystem games for a limited time frame during its mainnet launch.

The studio forecasts that game studios can expect to pay around $500 to $1000 in gas fees for every 100,000 users in their respective gaming environments. Connolly added that gas sponsorship should serve to increase player adoption and revenues for game studios and that the provision could eventually become an expense akin to infrastructure or server costs.

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In an Aug. 14 announcement, Immutable said its zkEVM will give game developers access to lower development costs and the security and network effects that come with the Ethereum ecosystem. In March, Immutable’s co-founder and president, Robbie Ferguson, said the zkEVM is aimed at increasing ownership rights for Web3 gamers.

Over 20 gaming studios pledged support for the beta launch, including GameStop, TokenTrove marketplace, web-based game distributor Kongregate, and game designer iLogos.

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