HomeMetaverseUnchanging Games: A Growing Cosmos 🎮

Unchanging Games: A Growing Cosmos 🎮

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Metaversal is a Bankless newsletter for weekly level-ups on NFTs and the onchain frontier

Dear Bankless Nation,

Some crypto gaming ecosystems are giants in the making. 

Ronin and Parallel come to mind as contenders, as does Immutable. 

That said, I last covered Immutable in March 2023, and a lot has changed since then as the Immutable gaming scene has recently been heating up like never before. 

For today’s post, let’s catch up with a quick refresher on the Immutable stack and ecosystem and how you can dive in here!

-WMP

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Immutable is a gaming tech stack in Ethereum’s Layer 2 (L2) scaling scene. This stack currently boasts two flagship L2s:

  • Immutable XAn NFT-friendly “validium” built via StarkWare tech that’s currently the 9th-largest L2 per its $314M in total value locked (TVL). The solution, originally launched in April 2021, supports near-instant and zero-gas transactions, though it lacks general smart contracts

  • ⚡️ Immutable zkEVMA new gaming-centric zk-rollup L2 compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) that is being developed in collaboration with Polygon to support advanced gameplay mechanics via smart contracts. Early access for Immutable zkEVM launched in January 2024

Going forward, the plan is for Immutable X and Immutable zkEVM to coexist side by side as the foundation for the products and platforms built around the Immutable ecosystem. The Immutable Passport and Global Orderbook systems, which I’ll explain further in the section below, will serve to unify assets and liquidity across these L2s. 

The Immutable team has developed a series of central products to enhance player experiences around its L2s. Two of the main pillars here include:

  • 🏪 The Global OrderbookA digital asset liquidity system that addresses UX fragmentation by connecting the wallets, marketplaces, and chains across the Immutable ecosystem for seamless trading, listing, and royalty enforcements

  • 🪪 The Immutable PassportA gaming wallet solution designed to simplify web3 interactions. It streamlines user onboarding with passwordless, one-click social logins and automated wallet creation. It’s also integrated with the popular Unity and Unreal SDKs, allowing smooth crypto interactions within games

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$IMX, which is currently trading around the $3.40 mark and is up 233% over the last year, is the native token of the Immutable ecosystem. 

For every transaction atop Immutable, 20% of the 2% protocol fee must be paid in $IMX. If users don’t have $IMX, the fee is automatically converted by purchasing $IMX on the open market. 

All $IMX fees are pooled into Immutable’s “Staking Reward Pool,” and by staking $IMX users can earn rewards from this pool. Additionally, $IMX functions as a governance token, allowing users to vote on future developments and expansions of the Immutable networks.

If you’re interested in staking IMX to try capitalizing on the growth of the Immutable ecosystem, the process is straightforward. 

After you’ve acquired some IMX, you’ll first need to visit the IMX Staking hub and press “Connect Wallet” to link your Ethereum wallet with an Immutable X wallet. Then after you’ve deposited some IMX to your Immutable wallet, you’ll be ready to head back to the IMX Staking hub interface, which looks like so:

At this point, you’d input the amount of IMX you want to stake in the UI, press “Stake,” and confirm the deposit transaction with your wallet. First, though, there are two important things to keep in mind before diving in: 

  1. IMX staking occurs over two-week “epoch” cycles, so you’ll receive rewards at the end of each cycle. Additionally, when you unstake through this UI you’ll receive your funds after the current cycle

  2. You have to trade at least one NFT per epoch via the Immutable Global Orderbook to qualify for your IMX staking rewards. Some marketplaces that support this orderbook include the Immutable Marketplace, Rarible, and OKX

The Immutable gaming ecosystem is blooming. It boasts some of the most recognizable titles in crypto-native gaming, like Illuvium and Gods Unchained, and supports a stable of +200 games in development. See the full list of games building on Immutable here.

Immutable is also increasingly being embraced by mainstream gaming giants like Ubisoft and TapNation, suggesting breakout potential going forward. With some 70% of major gaming studios investing into web3 gaming projects, Immutable’s stack seems well positioned to field more mainstream partnerships in the months ahead. 

If you’re interested in testing the waters of Immutable games, I’d recommend beginning with the Epic Games store, which recently relaxed its content policy to allow blockchain games. Illuvium and Gods Unchained are already listed on Epic Games and more Immutable titles are coming, so playing through here is not only straightforward but also signals to Epic that there is real demand for more web3 gaming support. 

With the Immutable zkEVM now live and gas-free until September 2024 for Immutable Passport holders, it’s a good time for Immutable newcomers to set up a Passport. 

To get started here, head over to immutable.com/gamers/passport and press the “Sign up to Passport” button. In the ensuing pop-up, sign in with your email or your Google or Apple account. After this, press “Yes” to authorize Immutable to make transaction requests.

Then back on the Immutable Passport page, you can press the “Login” option to sign into your Passport account, and that’s it! At this point, you’ll be ready to tap into the rise of the Immutable ecosystem as more games come online. 

This year, Immutable is aiming to rollout appchains around the Immutable zkEVM for game studios that want to customize their own scaling solutions. I’m assuming this appchain functionality will kick off in Q3 or Q4, so be on the lookout for that because it can grow the Immutable ecosystem to new heights. 

Beyond that, the other big thing to keep your eyes on in the near future is new games launching on Immutable, like Illuvium Overworld, Capsule Heroes, and Pixelmon. With so many titles on the verge of launching, expect to hear plenty more here soon!

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Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.



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