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Blockchain gaming firm Irreverent Labs raised $40 million in a recently completed funding round, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings Friday.
Helmed by esports veteran Rahul Sood, the crypto gaming studio has previously attracted investments from Andreessen Horowitz and the Chainsmokers’ venture fund. Its first title, the play-to-earn game, “MechaFightClub,” sees non-fungible token (NFT) owners battle for glory and profit through robotic chickens.
“It’s basically a fighting game based in the future where every character in the game is an artificially intelligent non-player character living on the blockchain as an NFT,” Sood said in the March 16 episode of the “Around the Coin” podcast.
The weighty funding round comes as MechaFightClub prepares to release its extraterrestrial robot chickens publicly.
According to the game’s website road map, the “Genesis” drop event will issue 6,969 “pre-fertilized, highly potent EGGs” to eager owners who will train them for the “COCKTAGON” – a “professional arena to where our characters battle in professional fights,” according to a trademark filing submitted to the U.S. government.
The project’s “breeding” mechanics mirror that of the popular play-to-earn title Axie Infinity, where new NFTs can be created from the eggs of old. In MechaFightClub lore, the eggs come from an alien species in the not too distant future. They can level up as they triumph, earning crypto rewards the players can spend on their birds or withdraw from the game.
“Our goal is to build an emotional attachment between the characters and their birds, sort of like a Tamagotchi on crack,” Sood said during the podcast.
An avid gamer and the founder of gaming platform Unikrn, Sood said in the podcast there’s an explosive opportunity for crypto crossovers, despite the “allergic” backlash hardcore gamers have for NFTs.
“But at the same time there’s a lot of these new Web 3 gamers that are getting into the space that really see the future of where things could go,” he said. “For us that’s a massive reason why we’re building on blockchain.”
Sood did not immediately reply to a request for comment.