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Irreverent Labs raises $40M for NFT robot cock fighting game MechaFightClub

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Irreverent Labs has raised $40 million to further boost its efforts to create MechaFightClub, a robot cock fighting game that uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Created by Voodoo PC founder Rahul Sood, the Seattle-based blockchain game company recently unveiled its first game: MechaFightClub. The characters are mechanical-looking roosters that are reminiscent of cock fighting, but Sood thinks of them as hilarious figures in a cruelty-free combat sport.

The funding was disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. No other details were provided. We’ll have more coming on this later.

Meanwhile, Irreverent Labs previously told us MechaFightClub’s chickens are mechabots with NFTs, which use the blockchain to verify the uniqueness of each chicken. The title is a “play-to-earn” game, where players can own the characters that they buy and profit from them if they can resell them to someone else once they’re leveled up.

The game is set in a dystopian future dominated by extraterrestrial mechabots. When a global resistance hacks the 41,000 remaining chicken-shaped mechabots, these weapons of war are redistributed to the public as “weapons of mass entertainment.”

It takes place in 2065 after extraterrestrials make their first contact with Earthy. They deemed humanity finally worthy of joining the interstellar races of the galaxy. And then the aliens realized they seriously overestimated humanity. They left, and abandoned Earth. But they left behind some technology for the humans to figure out.

“It’s sort of like Free Guy where they’re artificially intelligent non-player characters (NPCs),” Sood said in an earlier interview.

Irreverent Games has rooster-like mechs like Lemonade.

Sood thinks of MechaFightClub as Mortal Kombat meets Gundam Wing with a dash of South Park’s irreverent sensibility.

MFC players will collect, train and battle combat robots in a futuristic, mixed martial arts-inspired experience. Each mechabot develops unique fighting styles, abilities, and preferences over the course of its life, utilizing machine learning to give each NFT a lifelike personality on and off the battlefield, Sood said.

“To me, artificially intelligent entertainment being created is super interesting,” he said. “I think this is where gaming is going. And no one else has done this yet. We’re going to be the first to do it.”

It’s a bit of a wacky idea. But the company has 20 people, including a small design team in Seattle and developers in Ukraine. Irreverent Labs had previously raised $5 million.

“There’s a reason why we call ourselves Irreverent Labs,” Sood said. “We don’t want people to take us seriously and take offense to what we’re doing. 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 into the largest fight club in the metaverse, Sood said.

It’s an interesting switch for Sood, the creator of Microsoft Ventures, founder of Voodoo PC (acquired by HP) and the esports gambling firm Unikrn (acquired by Entain).

Sood said the game is built on the blockchain because it is at its core a collectibles game. The game resembles Warhammer or Heroclix, where the main way you interact with the game economy is
collection and customization of a fighter (or mechabot).

However, unlike traditional collectibles games, every collectible in MFC is totally unique. They’re totally unique not just because of the contents of their models and related 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 learned from every one of those unique experiences. They also have their own simulated genetic code.

The NFT is intended to mean that no two versions of those 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, so individualistic that they will be more akin to living, breathing creatures, Sood said.

The blockchain means players can trust that the company is creating what it says it is, and it permits players to take individual ownership of their mechabot and utilize it however they want, including selling, staking or even using in other blockchain applications, Sood said.

Irreverent Labs is working with the Solana blockchain, which has an ecosystem that is popular with games and processes transactions faster.

One of his cofounders is David Raskino, who worked with Sood at Microsoft Ventures. Raskino brought some expertise in AI in a field dubbed agent simulation. That is the basis for the AI brains of the chicken-like creatures. The game is being built in 3D in Unity. The game brings together breeding, arena fighting, AI, and leveling up mechanics.

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