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Irreverent Labs has raised $40 million to further its efforts to develop MechaFightClub, a robotic cockfighting game using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The Seattle-based blockchain games company developed by Voodoo PC founder Rahul Sood recently unveiled its first game: MechaFightClub. The characters are mechanical-looking roosters reminiscent of cockfights, but Sood sees them as hilarious figures in a cruel martial art.
The financing was disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. No further information was given. More on that later.
Meanwhile, Irreverent Labs previously informed us that MechaFightClub’s chickens are Mechabots with NFTs that use the blockchain to verify the uniqueness of each chicken. The title is a play-to-earn game where players can own the characters they buy and benefit from being able to resell them to someone else once they level up.
The game is set in a dystopian future dominated by alien Mechabots. If a global resistance hacks the 41,000 remaining chicken-shaped Mechabots, these weapons of war will be distributed to the public as “weapons of mass entertainment.”
It takes place in the year 2065 after aliens made their first contact with Earthy. They deemed humanity worthy of joining the galaxy’s interstellar races. And then the aliens realized that they seriously overestimated humanity. They left the earth and left it. But they left some technologies for people to figure out.
“It’s something like that Free guy where they’re artificially intelligent non-player characters (NPCs),” Sood said in a previous interview.
Sood thinks of MechaFightClub when Mortal Kombat meets Gundam Wing with a pinch of South Park’s irreverent sensibility.
MFC players collect, train and battle battle robots in a futuristic mixed martial arts-inspired experience. Each Mechabot develops unique fighting styles, skills and preferences over the course of its lifetime, using machine learning to give each NFT a true-to-life personality on and off the battlefield, Sood said.
“For me, creating artificially intelligent entertainment is super interesting,” he said. “I think this is where gaming goes. And nobody has done that yet. We will be the first to do that.”
It’s a bit of a crazy idea. But the company has 20 employees, including a small design team in Seattle and developers in Ukraine. Irreverent Labs previously raised $5 million.
“There’s a reason we call ourselves Irreverent Labs,” Sood said. “We don’t want people to take us seriously and take offense at what we do. We want people to have a sense of humor.”
The combination of advanced AI personalities, spectator options, and kaiju-inspired 3D art will make MechaFightClub the largest fight club in the metaverse, Sood said.
It’s an interesting move for Sood, creator of Microsoft Ventures, founder of Voodoo PC (acquired by HP) and esports gambling company Unikrn (acquired by Entain).
Sood said the game is built on the blockchain because it’s a collectible game at its core. The game is similar to Warhammer or Heroclix, where you mainly interact with the game economy
Collect and customize a fighter (or mechabot).
However, unlike traditional collectible games, each collectible in MFC is absolutely unique. They are absolutely unique, not only because of the content of their models and associated metadata, but also because each Mechabot has an individual artificial intelligence that houses millions of personal experiences unique to that Mechabot, and the Mechabot has from each of these unique experiences learned experiences. They also have their own simulated genetic code.
The NFT is meant to mean that no two versions of these tokens are the same. These can uniquely identify the characters. That’s important because MFC’s Mechabots will be so artificially intelligent, so genetically rich, and so individualistic that they’ll more closely resemble living, breathing creatures, Sood said.
The blockchain means players can trust the company to create what it promises, and it allows players to individually take ownership of their Mechabot and use it as they please, including selling it, deploying it, or even using it in other blockchain applications, Sood said.
Irreverent Labs works on the Solana blockchain, which has an ecosystem popular with games that processes transactions faster.
One of its co-founders is David Raskino, who worked with Sood at Microsoft Ventures. Raskino brought some expertise in AI to a so-called agent simulation. This is the basis for the chicken-like creatures’ AI brains. The game is made in Unity in 3D. The game combines breeding, arena battles, AI and leveling mechanics.
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