New Layer-3 Gaming Blockchain, Xai, Enters the Web3 Race

The race to be a big player in blockchain gaming has been hotting up for several years. Now, Xai, a layer-3 gaming-centric blockchain, has been announced with support from the likes of Offchain Labs and the game developer, Ex Populus, who is noteworthy in their own right.

What Is Xai Blockchain?

Let’s start with the fundamental question: What is Xai blockchain? Xai is a layer-3 permissionless Orbit chain using the Arbitrum Nitro technology stack with support from Offchain Labs. That explanation is as clear as mud, so I’ll unpack it without going too deep.

Orbit chain is a cross-chain platform that offers interoperability between blockchains using the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC). In short, assets from many of the top blockchains can all be used on one chain. Arbitrum is a layer-2 scaling solution on Ethereum, like Polygon, but using optimistic roll-ups, which are so far in the weeds, I wouldn’t find my way out if I tried to unpack them here. Arbitrum Nitro is an upgrade to the protocol in more deeply techy ways, but in essence, is a significant improvement over the original Arbitrum. Offchain Labs are the genius-folk behind Arbitrum and Arbitrum Nitro.

We are excited to announce that Offchain Labs will be working with the Xai Foundation and Ex Populus as they transition their backend technology into the Arbitrum ecosystem. We have been working closely with the Ex Populus team for nearly a year and eagerly await the migration to the Arbitrum ecosystem. The launch of Xai will enable its gaming ecosystem to live on an optimized, dedicated chain while benefiting from links to the vibrant Arbitrum ecosystem. I’m excited for the upcoming launch of the gaming franchises and gaming-focused Orbit chain.

— A.J. Warner, Chief Strategy Officer at Offchain Labs

All of this migraine-inducing wizardry is pointing toward one shared goal: an optimized gaming blockchain called Xai.

The first game developer through the door is Ex Populus which is working to migrate their games to Xai as soon as the chain is live. Ex Populus is another company departing the Solana ecosystem that has unfortunately been marred by outages, but moreover, connections to FTX.

What’s particularly exciting about this studio is the leadership team which boasts a combined background of Ubisoft, Blizzard, and Activision, as well as Signal Zero, a mobile game publishing platform that facilitated just shy of 1 billion installs of mobile games. There’s then a social game one of them created with 10 million monthly active users — oh, and the co-founder is an Oscar-nominated Pixar animation director. An absurd collective CV.

The first playable game will be Final Form, a rogue-lite TCG autobattler, followed by LAMOverse, a mixed-mode PvP multiplayer. There also appears to be an open-world, high-fidelity game in the works, with little known about it presently.

All in all, the blockchain gaming space is ramping up at a blinding rate. Polygon, ImmutableX, Gala Games, WAX — these have proven pedigree in blockchain gaming — but it’s a sector so young that it changes week-on-week. Xai appears to be technically of the highest order, now it simply needs to hoover up some talented games studios. We’ll let you know the moment they do.

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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