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Immutable zkEVM
1/30/2024

Immutable zkEVM Mainnet Early Access is Live

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TL;DR

The future of gaming is here with the launch of Immutable zkEVM Mainnet, powered by Polygon! This revolutionary solution is not just another blockchain; it is a game-changing innovation specifically designed to create new revenue streams for game studios and empower players with digital asset ownership. Games no longer have to compromise when choosing where to build - Immutable now offers the best tech, ecosystem, and player experience in the space. That’s why more than 200 well-funded games have already committed to launching on Immutable and more are joining every week. 

While Immutable zkEVM Mainnet is officially live, it will be in early access mode as games and partners migrate to the new environment. During the early access phase, a Mainnet deployer allowlist will be active to ensure smooth operations and user safety, and it will only include select game studios and ecosystem partners at launch. Guild of Guardians, MetalCore, Shardbound, Meta Toy City, and Space Nation will be among the first games on the allowlist, along with ecosystem partners like Merit Circle, TokenTrove, and Axelar. 

Sign up for the waitlist in the Immutable Developer Hub by following the steps listed here to get included on the deployer allowlist as we progressively open access to the chain. With that being said, anyone can deploy Immutable’s preset smart contract templates if you aren’t on the allowlist but want to start building on Mainnet now (subject to sanctions compliance restrictions). Additionally, all developers still have full access to Immutable zkEVM Testnet. 

What is Immutable zkEVM?

The Immutable zkEVM chain is the first of its kind - a dedicated chain for games that offers EVM compatibility, low cost, massive scale, and enterprise-grade security. It combines the benefits of zk-rollup technology with the power of the Ethereum ecosystem, all while offering access to the entire suite of Immutable gaming products. 

In contrast to general-purpose chains, which are designed to support a broad set of applications and smart contract functionality, Immutable zkEVM is built for games. While friction, high transaction costs, and latency may be acceptable in other markets, games need to optimize for scale, speed, and native user experiences. Games also need an ecosystem where they can thrive. That’s why Immutable zkEVM also features a breadth of partners across game development, distribution, marketing, marketplaces, analytics, and more to give game studios everything they need to succeed in one place.

What makes Immutable zkEVM special?

Immutable zkEVM enables game studios to grow their game’s economy, protect their communities, and create frictionless experiences for their users. The chain represents the next step in developing a gaming ecosystem that benefits players, studios, and developers. Most importantly, it makes it easier to build great games. Here’s how:

  • Immutable platform with zkEVM tech - a chain for games that offers EVM compatibility, low cost, massive scale, and Ethereum security, all while providing direct integration into Immutable’s full-stack gaming platform. One partner with all of the solutions you need to succeed. 
  • Gas free for gamers - the chain can offer gas free functionality for gamers who use Immutable Passport, significantly reducing the primary point of friction in the user experience. Games can make it so players will be able to play and trade without ever being introduced to the concept of gas!
  • Network effects - gain access to the combined network of Immutable and Polygon to make acquiring gamers and accessing tools easier than ever. Build on the most cutting-edge technology in gaming with the largest gaming ecosystem in web3. 
  • Decreased development costs - easily migrate existing EVM-based smart contracts to the Immutable zkEVM environment or use our smart contract templates so you don’t have to start from scratch and can spend more of your resources building a great game. 
  • Enhanced gameplay mechanics - Implement advanced functionality within your game to provide optimal player experiences. Staking, crafting, upgrading, bulk minting and incorporating NFTs that can equip other NFTs are all possible with Immutable zkEVM.
  • Seamless interoperability - With Immutable zkEVM, game developers can create games that are seamlessly interoperable with other games or platforms in the Ethereum ecosystem, enabling broader ecosystems and economies of scale.
  • Secure gaming environment - allowlisting as a quality control measure minimizes the risk of spam or malicious contracts, ensuring a safer and more reliable ecosystem. The allowlist acts as a filter to maintain a high standard of smart contracts on the network, encouraging best practices in development.
  • Speed to market - accelerate the smart contract deployment process and rapidly integrate Immutable tech with our no-code zkEVM smart contract deployment. Deploy smart contract templates in 90 seconds with just a few keystrokes and clicks.

Immutable is a full end-to-end web3 gaming platform that now offers a zkEVM rollup. All of Immutable’s products, including Passport, Orderbook, and Checkout, will be compatible with Immutable zkEVM and offer all of the solutions your game needs to succeed. While zkEVM enables massive scalability, Ethereum security, and smart contract compatibility, the Immutable platform enables streamlined user onboarding, asset liquidity, and other capabilities required by games. 

Immutable zkEVM Smart Contract Templates

Smart contracts are the backbone of game development on Immutable zkEVM. They provide game developers with programmable revenue streams, allowing for innovative monetization strategies that benefit both developers and players. With Immutable zkEVM, developers have access to a library of turnkey smart contract templates to accelerate the development process, ensure game security and integrity, and reap all the benefits of the Immutable ecosystem.

Immutable’s smart contract templates offer: 

  • Simple, safe, and future-proof functionality - audited presets for common ERC tokens and game contracts, along with APIs/SDKs for all common interactions
  • Gas efficiency - token presets are optimized for gas reduction, built-in gas sponsorship and fee payment, and bulk minting to significantly reduce costs
  • Game-specific design - Orderbook with enforceable royalties at the protocol level, contract presets for common actions such as crafting and batch minting, and invisible in-game signing for native player UX

Immutable zkEVM Mainnet Timeline

The primary purpose of Immutable zkEVM is to create an environment and ecosystem where games have everything they need to thrive, and we’re committed to that above all else. Immutable zkEVM will be rolled out in a phased release plan to ensure smooth operation and safety for game studios, ecosystem partners and players. As improvements are rolled out on the chain and new content goes live, we’ll be progressively expanding access to more developers. 

Here are the Immutable zkEVM release phases and the key details of each phase:

  • Phase 1: Early Access
    • Custom smart contract deployment on Immutable zkEVM Mainnet is gated to a select group of game studios and partners through a deployer allowlist
      • Game studios and developers on the allowlist can deploy custom smart contracts on the chain (subject to sanctions compliance restrictions)
      • Anyone can sign up for the waitlist to express their interest in being on the deployer allowlist
    • Anyone can permissionlessly read and write (i.e. submit a transaction) on-chain (subject to sanctions compliance restrictions)
    • Anyone can deploy preset smart contract templates on Immutable zkEVM Mainnet through our Contract Factory found in the Developer Hub (subject to sanctions compliance restrictions)
    • Anyone can deploy smart contracts on Immutable zkEVM Testnet and experiment within a risk-free environment before transitioning to Mainnet
  • Phase 2: Prover Integration
    • The zk-prover uses zero-knowledge proof technology to create validity proofs for a batch of transactions that are then submitted and verified on Ethereum L1
      • Initially, the prover will be running in parallel to the chain to prove Immutable zkEVM blocks
      • Eventually, the prover will be integrated into Immutable zkEVM’s bridge to secure the chain
    • Immutable will continue to assess waitlisted projects as we progressively open deployer access to the chain
  • Phase 3: General Availability
    • The deployer allowlist is removed and all developers can deploy custom smart contracts on Immutable zkEVM Mainnet (subject to sanctions compliance restrictions and Immutable guidelines)
    • Transaction and smart contract monitoring to mitigate fraudulent behavior

Conclusion 

Game studios, it's time to step into the future. With Immutable zkEVM, you have the power to revolutionize the player experience, enhance security, and unlock new revenue streams. With over 200 high quality games already committed to building on Immutable zkEVM, the paradigm shift in gaming is already happening. With smart contract templates, zero gas fees for gamers functionality, no-code deployment, and industry-leading security, it’s no surprise that Immutable zkEVM is leading the way. 

While we’re incredibly proud of this significant milestone, launching great games takes time. Instead of prioritizing short term on-chain activity or artificial growth, Immutable zkEVM Mainnet bandwidth will initially be reserved for game studios and ecosystem partners to drive sustainable, healthy growth. We’re doing it the right way - not the easy way. Incredible, diverse, and rewarding games are coming, and we’re laying the foundation to power their success. 

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