You may be familiar with the company Immutable even if you haven’t been following them closely, likely due to their game, Gods Unchained. In mid-2018, I predicted Gods Unchained would be one of the early success stories of blockchain gaming, and I was right for the most part, though its rise is still in progress. The trading card game is led by Chris Clay, the former Game Director for Magic: The Gathering Arena, which generated a lot of faith in the project and for good reason. The game has got a cult following and soon its own GODS Ethereum-based token ($GODS) to help develop the Play to Earn (P2E) systems in-game. It doesn’t quite have the playerbase it deserves, but as it becomes a more viable option for P2E, you will likely see a spike in its popularity as it lures in gamers of a different mindset to the typical, trading card game fan.
Meanwhile, Immutable has been seeking investments and during their Series B funding round, co-led by BITKRAFT Ventures and King River Capital, they have raised $60m, bringing their total investment pool to in the region of $77.5m. There were some notable investors too, with Gary Vaynerchuk’s Vaynerfund one of them. Vaynerchuk has been outwardly supportive of NFTs, an early adopter of CryptoPunks, and his investment ought not to be overly surprising when you unpack what Immutable X is.
What Is Immutable X?
Immutable X is a Layer-2 scaling solution for NFTs on Ethereum. It strives to bypass many of the infamous issues with using Ethereum for NFTs, most notably the high gas fees and lower transactions limit. Immutable X has zero gas fees for peer-to-peer trading, up to 9,000+ transactions per second (Ethereum’s is around 30 TPS), and is not a centralized sidechain. With Immutable X Mint, you are able to create ERC-721 and ERC-20 tokens either singularly or in bulk, without gas fees, and instantly tradable. Immutable X also has its own token, IMX, which is an ERC-20 utility token for the Immutable X protocol. The IMX token is tipped to be the cornerstone of the Play to Earn format, allowing their games to adopt P2E systems, which is also central to Gods Unchained’s future.
There are other Ethereum solutions similar to this in the works with the goal of overcoming Ethereum’s flaws, one impressive example is WAX’s EVM, but Immutable X does seem to have the most narrowed focus on blockchain gaming, which will likely be required once the space grows. Presently, blockchain gaming is something of a sleeping giant, with only a smattering of genuinely interesting games for gamers. However, there will be a tipping point in the near future — likely after the rise of NFTs with utility — where the blockchain gaming substratum will become discovered as volcanic. When that happens, diffuse, generalized aims of protocols and chains to aid in the trading of NFTs may not suffice.
Gods Unchained led me to Immutable three years ago, and unlike many of the seeds that began immerging in blockchain gaming’s most foetal state, Immutable has grown and strengthened without a wavering of intention. It is not without its competitors, but as somebody who doesn’t consider themself a crypto maximalist, I suspect that is only a positive for the gamers.