Irreverant Labs’ first game, MechaFightClub, is Mortal Kombat meets Gundam Wing with a dash of South Park humor, all on the Solana blockchain.

NFTs and play-to-earn structures in games are probably some of the hottest buzzwords around right now, next to the metaverse. That's why it should come as no surprise that Irreverant Labs, headed up by Rahul Sood (formerly of Unikrn and Microsoft Ventures) is taking on this newest trend. And they're doing it with a rather unique take on fighting games.

What is MechaFightClub?

Unlike traditional fighting games, this game will be more about building up your fighter and training them to fight for you. The concept might be a little intimidating to those of us looking to throw down, so we'll let their press release do the talking:

In MechaFightClub, 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 cutting-edge machine learning to give each NFT a lifelike personality on and off the battlefield.

To us, it sounds like a mixture of Battlebots, rooster fighting, and mech combat. Almost like the movie Real Steel, if that movie had involved mechanical chickens instead of anthropomorphic robots. Or, as they put it, Mortal Kombat meets Gundam Wing, with a dash of South Park's humor. The game is being modeled and designed to continuously evolve alongside its community.

The advanced AI underpinning these mechabots will learn and evolve over time and they fight completely independent of human inputs. Trainers of the mechabots work to manage its development as a fighter, much like a boxing coach might train a prize pugilist. As an analogy, think of it like Football Manager, where you're more training them to compete for you, rather than you controlling their success directly. Or even Pokemon, if you couldn't give them direct commands.

An ambitious scope

Irreverent Labs seems to be pulling out the big guns to make a unique experience. They're putting an a focus on AI development that is unheard of in video game development. That effort is led by David Raskino, former Director of Engineering at Microsoft's Cyber Defense Group.

And scope is something it has in spades. Players will battle and train in the "cockpit," where mechabots practice, with pro-level tournaments hosted in the metaverse's premier fighting stage the "Cocktagon." Both types of battles will offer AR, VR, and traditional viewing options down the road. The mechabots play-to-earn by fighting for human audiences - with owners then able to spend rewards in-game, or withdraw them to sell on decentralized exchanges. Top-performing mechabots also earn tournament prizes funded by nearly every purchase in MFC.

Gamified breeding will also be involved. MFC players will be able to breed their bots with those owned by other players. Exclusive forms, colors, and rare mutations are set in a breeding process modeled after real biological and evolutionary principles, according to Irreverent. Every mechabot NFT has a digital provenance card filled with statistics, rarity, and ownership information.

Did you order the mechanized chicken in chrome, or Gundam flavor?
Did you order the mechanized chicken in chrome, or Gundam flavor?

“We’re building MechaFightClub to be capable of continuously evolving alongside its community,” said founder Rahul Sood, creator of Microsoft Ventures, Voodoo PC (acquired by HP), and Unikrn (acquired by Entain). “I’m humbled by the quality of talent we’ve been able to recruit to develop this game, its economy, and its lore.”

“By fully decentralizing ownership of MFC’s mechabots and imbuing them each with the technology to be truly independent, lifelike beings, I’m excited to say we’re creating the fighting game of our science-fiction dreams.”

How will MechaFightClub address NFT environmental concerns?

While many have criticized gaming's use of NFTs so far, citing environmental concerns, the team at Irreverant Labs is using the Solana blockchain to combat this.

The MFC "eggs" which will hatch into fighters.
The MFC "eggs" which will hatch into fighters.

According to the FAQ, Irreverent Labs is using Solana for the following reasons:

  • Solana has low gas and associated costs per transaction, which makes it better for running games that end up with more transactions.
  • Transactions are faster, imporant when a transaction may hold up gameplay elements and cause unnecessary loading.
  • Prefer Solana's approach to scalable applications.
  • Solana is committed to maximizing utility while minimizing cost. Solana has extremely low energy usage. The energy from one Etherium transaction could process over 401,000 Solana transactions. They are also overall carbon neutral.

Why use the blockchain at all?

Some players have questioned why games are being built on the blockchain at all, especially when there have been solutions for these sorts of things outside of it. Irreverant Labs gave the following reasons. Blockchain has:

  • public ledger, which means players can trust that we are in fact creating what we say we are.
  • 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.
  • has vastly improved security compared to using a centralized exchange system such as a Steam inventory
  • ensures that game records will persist for the multiple generations even as the playerbase changes
  • allows us to throttle mechabot population to ensure a compelling metagame and well-modelled fight economy (which would be very difficult to do with a client-side application)
  • prevents cheating in public fights because MFC fights will not look at client-side data to determine fight outcomes, meaning players cannot modify local files to impact fight outcomes
  • allows players to collect real rewards earned by their mechabots on a play-to-earn model (as opposed to platform-locked rewards possible on a centralized gaming model).

MechaFightClub will begin whitelisting players from its early-bird community in January leading up to the Genesis drop. That drop will distribute 6,969 eggs to whitelisted players. You can join the early-bird community in MFC's Discord Server.

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