Tinyverse Games Announces Shift from Solana to Ethereum's Immutable X

By Chainsight | Chainsight | 15 Feb 2023


Solana had a particularly rough year in 2022 because of the continuing effects of the crypto winter. The failure of FTX and Alameda Research, which had substantial financial stakes in the Solana network, accelerated the year's downhill spiral, which technical difficulties and high-profile security breaches had already marked.


Solana has a flourishing NFT environment and more blockchain games, but with the current market volatility and 94% decline in the token price, some developers are looking elsewhere. 


The Solana game Tiny Colony is the most recent undertaking to jump to another distributed ledger system. The developer of DeGods and y00ts tweeted an announcement about the change, so this is in keeping with that.


Tiny Colony's developers, Tinyverse Games, said today that they would be switching their blockchain-powered construction and management simulator from Solana to Ethereum's scaling solution, Immutable X.


Arshia Navabi, co-founder and CEO of Tinyverse, told Decrypt that the company has always placed a premium on gaming and that Immutable has an excellent development team and cutting-edge gaming technologies.


In Tiny Colony, players build and oversee underground ant colonies with human intelligence, which they must then cultivate, excavate, hatch larvae, and defend against predators in order to succeed. 


The NFTs players acquire can be spent in various ways or traded with other players throughout the game. The game's prototype was released on Solana last summer for playtesters, and the final product will be available on Immutable X later this year.


Sales of NFTs for over a billion dollars make Tiny Colony a relatively tiny endeavor when compared to other Ethereum-based play to earn games like Axie Infinity and the Otherside from Bored Ape Yacht Club.


More than $3 million in NFT sales have been announced by Tinyverse for the Fractal project launched via the Solana marketplace. The game's NFTs can be purchased on the secondary market for less than 5 Sol.


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital assets protected by blockchain technology and used to represent scarce or one-of-a-kind resources. They are used to authenticate PFPs, works of art, sports and entertainment collectibles, and invitations to private events and experiences. They can represent characters, add-ons, and virtual worlds in video games.


Navabi has informed Decrypt that Tiny Colony is offering a "burn-in mint" mechanism by which current holders of Solana NFTs can trade in their assets for an Immutable X version. There will be more details on the redemption mechanism released over the next month, with the help of experts from Immutable X, to finish the technical aspects.


What are the Benefits of Immutable X?


Immutable is the originator of the Immutable X network and the developer of the NFT-based card game Gods Unchained. Immutable X is a layer-2 scaling solution that facilitates faster and cheaper transfers than Ethereum's main net. According to Navabi, Immutable's attention to gaming and the player experience was an ideal match with Tiny Colony.


Reputed by certain people to be an "Ethereum adversary," Solana has been a distinguished alternative platform for dapps and NFTs due to its minimal fees and capability of processing a greater quantity of transactions per second than Ethereum's mainnet.


Solana generated a lot of buzz in 2021, but the token price has since plummeted from $260 in November to its current $16. When compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum, this drop is significantly more severe. A number of variables, including disruptions in the network, increased competition, and NFT market volatility, may have contributed to this.


Tinyverse tweeted on Solana's value drop in November, saying they had not lost any money in the FTX crash but still had "large SOL reserves" to keep up while the value of SOL and the market rebounded.


While Solana served as a solid framework for their work, Navabi told Decrypt that once they learned about Immutable's emphasis on blockchain gaming and NFTs, they were "immediately fascinated." He added that Solana was responsible for a lot of their current success.


Tinyverse was founded in 2021 by people that have worked in video games, movies, and television. These seasoned professionals have worked together on projects for major studios like Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime, and Paramount and for video game publishers like Electronic Arts, Capcom, and PlayStation.


Executive Vice President of Global Business Development at Immutable, Andrew Sorokovsky, released a statement expressing his delight in welcoming Tiny Colony to the rapidly expanding Immutable X family. With the whole suite of Immutable's tools and solutions at their disposal, the team can make the game as accessible, entertaining, and performant as possible, as mentioned by Sorokovsky.


Navabi noted that traditional (Web2) gamers who may not understand the concept of using gas will find the network's simplicity appealing, and that the absence of gas taxes to complete transactions on Immutable X was a big reason in the transition.


Instead of assuming Web2 gamers understand the elements, Navabi advised they design a welcoming "landing home" for them. He also thinks that Web3 games would feel like a natural extension of the genre thanks to the similarity in "strategy, timeframes, and concentration" between Immutable X and that studio.


Migration from Solana?


Tiny Colony has acted less than a month after DeLabs' bombshell announcement that DeGods and y00ts, two of Solana's most prominent PFP programs, will be connected to other networks.


Without knowing the mechanics of the changeover, DeGods will migrate to Ethereum and y00ts will migrate to Polygon, with a $3 million grant from Polygon Labs funding the relocation (formerly Polygon Studios). Founder and CEO Ryan Wyatt admitted in a December tweet reply that Polygon Labs had "made contact with many projects on multiple chains" in an apparent attempt to woo further Solana projects.


According to Navabi, Tinyverse did not get any direct funding for the migration; rather, Immutable will provide a gift of IMX tokens conditional upon project milestones being reached once it is available on Immutable X. However, he insisted that financial considerations were never a factor in his decision to leave Solana.


He insisted that financial gain was secondary to other goals. He continued by saying that if they were truly motivated by financial gain, they would have adopted Polygon or one of the other blockchains that provide substantial incentives for making the move.


Final Thoughts

Despite the challenges, Solana has laid a solid foundation for projects such as Tiny Colony, and the creators remain grateful for its role in their success. On the other hand, scaling solutions like Immutable X offers a more optimized experience for blockchain games, and creators have been flocking to platforms like this for user-owned assets that are too costly and slow on Ethereum.


Overall, it seems that Tiny Colony's move to Immutable X was a well-informed decision, and it will be interesting to see how the game continues to evolve on the new platform. The growing trend of creators moving to scaling solutions highlights the need for blockchain networks to stay competitive and relevant in a rapidly changing industry.

Question for Readers

What factors should game developers consider when choosing the blockchain for their NFT-based game, and how does Immutable X compare to other platforms like Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon?

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