Gaming is one of the fastest growing subsectors of the Web3 industry and its most flexible vertical, with funding remaining afloat despite a continuing bear market. Over 60% of the $7.1 billion raised by Web3 startups in 2022 was invested in Web3 gaming. And it looks like 2023 is the year for this capital to come good, bringing with it a Cambrian explosion of high-quality games and another level of adoption.
But for Web 3 games to truly achieve critical mass and unlock their full potential, they must overcome one of their biggest technical challenges – scaling.
Fortunately, the development of zero-knowledge (ZK) technology is rapidly changing the belief that Web3 games cannot scale for mass adoption. Beyond scaling, the introduction of this revolutionary technology provides several gaming-changing transformations, including enhanced security, privacy protections, improved game mechanics, reliable gameplay and new revenue streams.
True ownership hits a wall of scalability
Today, strong in-game economies are an increasingly important part of popular AAA titles like League of Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and countless others. As has been proven time and time again, there is a constant demand for in-game customization, exemplified by the skins market. 50 billion dollar industry In 2022.
Unable to satiate the hunger for such items, game developers introduce a range of in-game assets, from character and weapon skins to small virtual accessories and avatar frames. As a result, many players have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of in-game items, usually across multiple titles – all of which they may never truly own, sell, or trade.
Traditional Web2 gaming assets have always been a one-way street, with money flowing from gamers to developers and publishers. This is one of the biggest Web2 anachronisms that Web3 seeks to disrupt – by opening up in-game economies and allowing players to be full participants in these markets, enabling them to take those custom digital assets between different games. Creating, transforming gaming into an interoperable, immersive ecosystem.
For that to happen, though, Web3 gaming must be prepared to maintain the same scale at which Web2 titles currently operate, and that’s no easy task. Giants like League of Legends and Fortnite attract millions of players, and each account can have multiple in-game items. To compete with such a massive flow of in-game assets, especially when players can virtually freely trade and exchange with each other, Web3 games need to be able to process thousands of transactions at once. Needed
Meanwhile, Ethereum, the go-to blockchain for everything Web3 related, can only process up to 30 transactions per second (TPS) on average today – and that’s a problem.
For ZK, scaling is just the beginning
Fortunately, a fundamental paradigm shift is already underway. The development and imminent launch of ZK technology, which is natively compatible with Ethereum, will transform all game development, not just Web 3. dub zkEVMThis innovative rollup brings all the benefits of asset ownership to users globally, while also unlocking a wide range of improvements that are set to revolutionize Web3 gaming.
First, scalability. One of the primary advantages of ZkEVM technology is its ability to achieve global scale without sacrificing security. This allows large batches of transactions to be bundled together and validated off-chain, with only the final proof being transmitted to the mainnet – reducing cumbersome transaction data on the mainnet.
This increases throughput by approximately 600 times compared to the Ethereum mainnet while significantly reducing fees. This functionality is essential in sports where millions of high-volume, low-cost transactions occur daily.
Next, interoperability. Rather than isolated walled gardens, these new titles will function more like an ecosystem. Assets, avatars, profiles, and more can move seamlessly across different platforms and games, giving users greater fluidity and access.
Additionally, the process of buying, selling or transferring items will be streamlined to just a click or two, rather than the need to set up and manage an entirely separate wallet application. Through this broad compatibility, all titles and services can now be seamlessly interoperable with traditional gaming in ways never before possible.
Creating interoperable assets to transfer between games is an incredibly compelling way to increase the long term inherent economic value of gaming titles. This helps developers create a compatible gaming universe where anyone is a fan of the same game. quite literally Others in the same universe have “skin in the game”. Not only does this create an opportunity for long-term monetization, but perhaps more importantly, it gives game devs a chance to take more creative risks, safe in the knowledge that there is already an audience out there who enjoy the game. Will choose
Another advantage is that ZK can enhance gameplay and usability. zkEVMs, in particular, enable compatibility with smart contracts, unlocking more sophisticated gameplay mechanics and vibrant economies within the Ethereum ecosystem.
Functionality such as asset staking offers passive earning potential and can bring real value to items obtained inside a game. Furthermore, crafting new items takes on new meaning when they come in the form of NFTs that players actually own and can be traded or transferred at will.
What’s more, all properties can be nested. For example, a player’s avatar may be one NFT with several supporting NFTs. These assets may be clubbed together and transported or sold, or they may be broken down into their component parts. It totally depends on the player.
There are also some darker downsides for developers. Using a zkEVM and drawing from a library of verified smart contracts can simplify the development process, cut costs and allow creators to focus on the fun gameplay elements that will set their product apart. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel; Any studio can quickly start developing innovative Web3 titles.
This technology also stands to make sports safer than ever. zkEVMs not only boost transaction throughput and reduce fees, but they also preserve Ethereum’s robust security and decentralization.
Additionally, leveraging a ZK-powered ID or Gamer Tag means that only the person associated with the account can interact with it. Exploitative or malicious activity can be monitored and addressed without even needing to reveal the real identity or data of anyone involved. It stands to overhaul how moderation is handled, ultimately making these environments safer for everyone.
the future is already here
zkEVM already exists advancedAnd any gaming studio can now take advantage of the benefits this technology has to offer.
Whatever the need, there are now Web3 tools working to provide the most cutting-edge and powerful experiences for gamers everywhere. Developers are no longer bound by boundaries, and they can truly bring their creative vision to life.