Immutable’s zkEVM to eliminate Web3 gaming gas fees

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Gaming company Web3 Immutable is set to completely eliminate gas fee payments for players when its proprietary scaling platform based on zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs) goes live early 2024.

Immutable zkEVM provides the technology for blockchain-based game developers to remove end-user transaction fees, which is said to create a “frictionless onboarding” experience for players.

Web3 games built on blockchain protocols typically require players to pay gas fees paid to network validators for processing transactions. Before the advent of Layer 2 scaling protocols, Ethereum-based decentralized applications and services relied solely on pre-merger validators and miners 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 players accustomed to transaction-free gaming experiences.

Alex Connolly, CTO of Immutable, highlighted this aspect in a statement shared with Cointelegraph, explaining that Web3 games must offer players a “familiar and streamlined user experience” to make its blockchain base imperceptible:

“There are a few standards in the blockchain space that traditional players simply won’t accept: gas fees fall into this category.”

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

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Game developers will be able to sponsor gas fee payments through Immutable zkEVM, thereby canceling these transactions for Immutable Passport users. Immutable also plans to sponsor gas fees for all of its ecosystem games for a limited period when its mainnet launches.

The studio projects that game studios can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 in gas fees per 100,000 users in their respective gaming environments. Connolly added that gas sponsorship should be used to increase player adoption and revenue for game studios and that this provision could eventually become an expense similar to infrastructure or server costs.

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In an August 14 announcement, Immutable said its zkEVM would give game developers access to reduced development costs as well as the security and network effects associated with the Ethereum ecosystem. In March, Immutable co-founder and president Robbie Ferguson said zkEVM was intended to increase ownership rights for Web3 players.

More than 20 game studios have signed on to support the beta launch, including GameStop, marketplace TokenTrove, online game distributor Kongregate, and game designer iLogos.

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