Hunters on Chain is on Immutable!
Play Now
Home
Arrow icon
Blog
Arrow icon
Immutable zkEVM
12/8/2023

Immutable zkEVM Testnet is Finally Here: The Gold Standard of Gaming on Ethereum

Image Alt Text: Immutable zkEVM Testnet is Live, Immutable zkEVM, Blockchain Gaming, Web3 Gaming, Immutable, Ethereum Games
Icon with concentric circles
TL;DR

The Immutable zkEVM Testnet, featuring all of Immutable’s platform products, is officially live!  Existing smart contracts and Solidity code can be migrated directly into Immutable’s zkEVM Testnet environment for free. It’s time to experience the future of gaming! 

Sign-in to Developer Hub and start building here.

A couple of months ago, we announced a partnership between Immutable and Polygon, along with the creation of Immutable zkEVM. Now, the Immutable zkEVM Testnet is here. The most cutting-edge technology in gaming with the largest ecosystem in web3.

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 and high transaction costs 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 goes beyond developer tooling and focuses on making game studios successful through massive liquidity, player community, and powerful network effects. 

Immutable zkEVM enables you to grow your game’s revenue streams, protect your community, and create frictionless experiences for your users. Now that the Immutable zkEVM Testnet is live, it’s free and easy to begin developing, or migrating, smart contracts on Immutable zkEVM. Mint in-game assets, experiment with economy design, and accelerate your development journey in a low-risk sandbox environment with access to all of Immutable’s platform products. 

Why does Immutable zkEVM matter for games?

Immutable zkEVM represents the next step in developing a gaming ecosystem that benefits players, studios, and developers. Most importantly, it makes it easier to build great web3 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.
     
  • Network effects - gain access to the combined network of Immutable and Polygon to make acquiring gamers, tools, and funding easier than ever. Build on the most cutting-edge technology in gaming with the largest ecosystem in web3. 
  • Decrease development costs - easily migrate existing 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, 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 (Mainnet only) as a quality control measure has been implemented to protect studios and users from malicious activity, poorly designed contracts or validators, and conserve the chain’s bandwidth for gaming-specific activity.

Who is building on Immutable zkEVM?

The level of enthusiasm and support Immutable zkEVM has received from the community has been astounding. Many of our game studio and marketplace partners have already begun transitioning to Immutable zkEVM, re-enforcing the network effects that will help every game on Immutable succeed. Their involvement not only validates the quality of our newest rollup, but also highlights the growing demand and excitement within the industry. Here are the partners that have committed to Immutable zkEVM (many more coming soon):

Games:

  • MetalCore
  • Shardbound
  • Infinite Victory
  • CoinArcade
  • EF Defense
  • Galaxy Commanders
  • SimWin Football
  • Medieval Empires
  • Eyeball Pool
  • Meta Toy DragonZ SAGA
  • Rune Realms

Ecosystem partners:

  • AQUA Marketplace
  • TokenTrove Marketplace
  • BlockScout
  • GameStop
  • AtomicHub

Check out all of our partners here and explore the Immutable ecosystem here.

How is Immutable zkEVM different from other zkEVM solutions?

Although zkEVM is rapidly becoming the industry standard scaling solution, it's the Immutable platform, built on Polygon technology, that makes Immutable zkEVM truly unique.

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. 

For example, Polygon zkEVM is one of many rollup solutions on Ethereum that have a more generalized approach beyond gaming. Polygon chose to partner with Immutable because of the full-stack gaming platform we offer. Instead of having to build your own solutions or source them from multiple partners, Immutable offers a one-stop-shop approach to web3 gaming infrastructure. Immutable provides zkEVM functionality in an environment built specifically for the needs of game developers. 

Immutable zkEVM vs Immutable X

Immutable will continue to support Immutable X as we move forward, in parallel with Immutable zkEVM. Now all of Immutable’s products will be available across multiple rollups, giving game studios optionality based on their goals and reducing the risk of committing to one environment. 

  • Immutable zkEVM is compatible with smart contracts and enables advanced gameplay mechanics, rich economies, and interoperability with the Ethereum ecosystem. There are low gas fees associated with on-chain activities, but there are options to mitigate these fees through Immutable Passport and Immutable Relayer. This rollup is recommended for more complex and mature games that want to use smart contracts in their design. 
  • Immutable X offers zero gas fees, instant transactions, and streamlined gameplay mechanics. This rollup offers a hyper-optimized experience for a constrained set of use cases and doesn’t support smart contracts or Solidity code, so it’s recommended for less complex and mature games that don’t require smart contracts in their design. 

Immutable zkEVM Testnet functionality

As a builder, we want to ensure you have all of the tools you need to begin enhancing your game through digital asset ownership. While we have many exciting updates planned for the future, here is what the Immutable zkEVM Testnet will offer at launch:

  • EVM Compatibility - you can use Immutable’s Smart Contract Development Environment or any other Ethereum-compatible contract development framework to develop, migrate, and deploy contracts to Immutable zkEVM
  • Immutable Product Compatibility - you can integrate with Immutable’s product suite via APIs, SDKs, and smart contracts. For example, combine Passport, Checkout, and Orderbook to create frictionless onboarding and purchasing experiences for your users while generating massive liquidity for your assets.
  • Native L2 Faucet for Test-IMX - you can source Test-IMX to pay for gas to interact with contracts deployed on Immutable zkEVM or deploy your own contracts. Test-IMX has no real world value.
  • Sepolia to Immutable zkEVM Deposit Bridge - you can deposit L1-originated ERC20 assets from Sepolia to Immutable zkEVM by generating contract bindings and executing a deposit call directly to the bridging smart contract. You can also use Checkout’s bridge widget and, in the future, Immutable’s Bridge SDK that will make it easier to bridge programmatically. 
  • Immutable zkEVM to Sepolia Withdrawal Bridge - you can withdraw L1-originated ERC20 assets from Immutable zkEVM to Sepolia by generating contract bindings and executing a withdrawal call directly to the bridging smart contract
  • Block Explorer - you can get insights into the transactions and blocks on Immutable zkEVM to monitor your applications and activity
  • Immutable Relayer (coming soon) - you can use the Relayer functionality within Immutable Passport for meta-transaction support, currency abstraction, wallet address generation, and eventually gas sponsorship

Here are some important notes to keep in mind regarding the Immutable zkEVM Testnet:

  • $MATIC will be used as the only staking token
  • Test-IMX will be used as the only native (gas) token
  • Given it’s a Testnet, we will be anchoring to Sepolia (not Goerli). For Mainnet, we will anchor to Ethereum Mainnet.
  • There will be no contract allowlist on Testnet - any address can deploy any contract of their choosing, subject to compliance controls

Migrating to Immutable zkEVM

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to migrating existing assets to Immutable zkEVM, we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Immutable will provide guidance and help you along the way, but it’s important that you do what’s best for your game and your community.

Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind relating to migration:

  • Migration is one-way. Depending on the approach taken, there's no guarantee to return to the source chain with the same "state" (contract address/state)
  • Migration should be chain/origin-dependent. Depending on which chain your assets originate from, the recommended approach will be different. 
  • If you’re migrating assets from Immutable X to Immutable zkEVM, a freeze-and-mint approach instead of a burn-and-mint approach may be best

Here is a blog that walks through recommended migration techniques in more detail. 

Additionally, here is some sample code to help kickstart your migration process: https://github.com/danekshea/blockchain-migration-tool-backend

What’s next for Immutable zkEVM?

The Immutable zkEVM Testnet release represents the culmination of a massive amount of work from our product team, but it doesn’t stop here. We plan to continue improving the Testnet experience while we push towards Mainnet release (currently slated for Q4), as well as collaborate closely with the team at Polygon as they roll out updates to Polygon Edge and Polygon Zero. 

While Immutable zkEVM is currently leveraging Polygon Edge, the decision to deploy Polygon Zero in a future release is part of our plan to progressively remove the training wheels when the system is ready to ensure stability for our developer community. Our main priorities center around achieving optimal reliability, performance, and upgrade mechanisms before introducing Zero, a Type 1 zkEVM Validity proof scheme. We expect this upgrade to happen in place and aim for minimal disruption to integrating developers or applications. We'll gradually increase reliance on Validity proofs over time. A more comprehensive release plan will be shared in future communications. 

Another topic we want to cover is gas fees. We expect the average gas cost to sit between Polygon PoS and Polygon zkEVM (Hermez). The actual gas cost will depend on the demand and activity at the time. We're basing our congestion mechanism on EIP-1559 with a standard target of half the block limit. At launch, we will have a Block Explorer live that will reference a block's latest average gas cost and we’ll continue to share this information with our community. 

Summary

The launch of the Immutable zkEVM Testnet represents a significant milestone for the web3 industry. Using smart contracts for game development is finally viable. By choosing Immutable zkEVM, you get the benefits of any other zkEVM along with Immutable’s vertically integrated gaming-specific features designed to make building web3 games safe and easy. Let’s build together. 

Disclaimer

Immutable zkEVM Testnet allows developers and builders to test their applications on a testnet version of Immutable zkEVM.  While all care has been taken in the design and roll out of Immutable zkEVM Testnet, it is not a production environment and instability and regenesis may occur as we deploy new features. You acknowledge and agree that Immutable zkEVM Testnet is provided ‘AS IS’ without any representations or warranties of any kind, and all implied terms are excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. Neither Immutable or its affiliates accepts any responsibility or liability to you (or any third parties) for any materials (including but not limited to information) accessed as part of or in relation to the zkEVM Testnet.

Immutable zkEVM
Join the Immutable Newsletter

Be the first to receive Immutable updates, announcements and more.

$IMX Token Address
The official $IMX token address is: