Immutable onboarded more web3 games in Q3 than any other quarter, co-founder says

Earlier this year, Immutable, a web3 gaming firm with its own layer-2 chain, Immutable X, launched a whopping $500 million fund to boost gaming on its platform. Fast forward a few months and the company says things are going according to plan.

“It has been super busy,” Robbie Ferguson, co-founder of Immutable, said to TechCrunch. “In the last quarter, we’ve onboarded more games than the rest of the company’s lifetime combined. As far as we know, it’s been more than any other layer-1 or layer-2 [blockchains] in the world and nearly half of those games came from competitors in migrations.”

In Q3, Immutable onboarded about 50 games and has over 1,000 games being built in a “testing environment,” Ferguson said. “These are ones we’ve actively gone after.”

Some games, like Delysium and Ember Sword, were initially developed for the layer-2 blockchain Polygon but switched to Immutable X, the company’s NFT platform and layer-2 scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain. Other games, like Deviants’ Factions and Undead Blocks, migrated over from the defunct Terra ecosystem after it imploded in May.

Today, Immutable X launched GameStop’s NFT marketplace out of beta, which will provide GameStop players and customers across the U.S. access to NFTs tied to games on its layer-2 chain. This announcement follows GameStop and Immutable X’s partnership and $100 million joint grant fund from February.

“The attraction we’ve already seen and interest from this community has been insane,” Ferguson said. “We recently shared something on Reddit and had 100,000 people sign up for Guild of Guardians’ waitlist in under two days, just from a single post. So the strength of this community is enormous compared to existing user bases in crypto.”

This all comes as the web3 gaming industry is seemingly less affected by gloomy crypto markets, even as other crypto areas face fewer investments amid bearish sentiment.

Immutable raised $200 million in a Series C round, hitting a $2.5 billion valuation in March. Even though markets have gone through the wringer, Ferguson said its valuation has held steady.

Web3 gaming is one of the most invested in the category, with nearly $10 billion invested in web3 games over the past 18 months, Ferguson said. “That’s more than almost the entirety of gaming investments for the first decade of this century.”

There are also two AAA studios building actively on Immutable today with enterprise values between $2 billion and $10 billion, Ferguson said. “So we’re seeing a lot more progress here. If you look at web3 gaming, it has been by far the most resilient market.”

Despite the bear market, the web3 gaming industry is still bringing in users, Ferguson said. “Gods Unchained did more volume today than it did at the peak of the bull run because it has more players. And we’re ultimately not trading based on speculative value or how much someone thinks an ape [NFT] should trade for, but it’s wanting to own an asset that can be used and played in a game. [ … ] That should be totally decorrelated to the price of Ethereum.”

That’s why there’s been more interest over the past year from Web 2.0 studios than during the previous bull run, he added. “There really has been almost zero slowdown in terms of attraction to the [web3 gaming] space.”

Since 2017, Immutable’s vision has remained “fairly consistent,” Ferguson shared. “We think web3 gaming is going to be the number one category that catalyzes mainstream adoption of true digital property.”

Billions of dollars are spent every year on game items that people don’t even own, Ferguson said. This is growing 10% year on year, he added. “By giving players true digital property rights, it sets an incredibly powerful precedent.”

True digital ownership in blockchain gaming can be represented through NFTs, which users can own and hold through games. As it stands, traditional gamers spend tons on new avatars, skins and game enhancements. But even though they’re paid for, they don’t really own them.

“The writing’s on the wall,” Ferguson said. “The next billion players from web3 are going to come from games where players have real economies, can trade assets without even knowing what the technology is under the hood.”