Immutable, a Web3 gaming firm, and Polygon, a layer-2 blockchain, recently announced a strategic alliance aimed at accelerating innovation and adoption in the nascent crypto gaming space. The companies made the announcement at the Game Developer Conference.
According to Robbie Ferguson, co-founder and president of Immutable, “For us, this is a pretty obvious play. We realized very quickly the scaling limitations of Ethereum, but we never wanted to compete with it.” By forming an alliance with Polygon, Immutable can avoid Ethereum congestion and costs without having to build its own alternative.
The partnership between Immutable and Polygon will focus on making web3-enabled games faster, easier, and less risky for larger gaming studios and independent developers to get involved. Last year, games building on both platforms received about $2 billion in investor funding, according to Ferguson and Ryan Wyatt, president of Polygon Labs.
Wyatt sees the partnership as the next evolution of mainstream adoption, stating that “You’re already starting to see blockchain games with higher fidelity.” By combining the two companies’ technologies, they could help scale transactions 100 to 1,000 times more than before, according to Ferguson.
To facilitate the partnership, Immutable’s new zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) will be powered by Polygon technology and supported on its platform. Polygon’s zkEVM scaling technology aims to lower transaction costs while remaining compatible and secure with the layer-1 blockchain Ethereum, which is critical for the long-term growth of the blockchain and its ecosystem.
Polygon has already built a clean, well-polished end-to-end solution and market for game developers and gamers, according to Wyatt. Polygon Labs, the team behind the decentralized Polygon protocol, has worked with gaming companies like Square Enix, Neowiz, Midnight Society, Plai Labs, and Tilting Point.
Polygon network has seen notable adoption, including tens of thousands of decentralized apps deployed, more than 220 million unique addresses served, more than 1 million smart contracts deployed, and billions of total transactions processed since inception. The network is also integrated into crypto projects like Aave, Uniswap, and OpenSea, as well as well-known enterprises including Robinhood, Stripe, and Adobe, which could help extend its reach even further.
The Polygon network also hosts some of the biggest web3 gaming projects and publishers like Ubisoft, Atari, Animoca Brands, Decentraland, and Sandbox, among others. In the past year, Polygon partnered with a number of other big brands like Starbucks for its Odyssey digital collectible rewards program and Disney for its accelerator program, while also having major clothing brands like Prada and Adidas launch NFT projects through its blockchain.
Immutable has also onboarded web3 games and initiatives to its platform in recent months, including brands like GameStop, DC Comics, TikTok, and Marvel, as well as IP from Disney and Star Wars. The platform also launched a $500 million fund in June to boost web3 gaming adoption.
By forming an alliance, Immutable and Polygon are aiming to create an even more robust and dynamic crypto gaming industry. With more brands entering the web3 gaming space, the larger decentralized gaming market is expected to grow, somewhat akin to how integrations between Web 2.0 companies have historically helped grow their own reach.
Wyatt believes that ultimately, gamers just want to play great games, and that’s what’s coming on the horizon. “You really just got to get to a point where you’re abstracting the crypto and jargon away and then have just a really exciting game,” he says.