One of the most innovative individuals in the esports industry, Rahul Sood, has made a return to gaming after he became the driving force behind a new start-up business called Irreverent Labs.
Mr Sood, who is best known perhaps for his work with Microsoft Ventures and latterly Unikrn, the crypto-based esports betting site that has recently been taken over and which is set to return at some point next year, has a long history with gaming.
He was the founder of VoodooPC, a maker of custom PC’s designed for gamers that he sold to Hewlett Packard in 2006 and became HPs lead designer for gaming computers until 2010.
It is little wonder then that Mr Sood has returned to his gaming roots, albeit allied with emerging Blockchain technology for his new venture.
What is Irreverent Labs?
According to the lead in paragraph on their website, Irreverent Labs say:
“We’re reinventing how games are played, owned and watched by merging advanced machine learning, engrossing gameplay and blockchain technology. We’re building hundred-year games, designed to grow across decades of breathtaking depth and fun.”
Mr Sood’s new company will attempt to merge gaming technology with the power of Non-Fungible Tokens, which can use the blockchain to authenticate digitised items.
Part of the company’s working brief is to develop a game that people can pick up easily to play on the blockchain and which will still be around in a century’s time.
This form of ‘play-to-earn’ game is currently being developed by a number of companies, including Irreverent Labs, where a veteran gaming team is helping Mr Sood create what he deems as his own ‘metaverse’ on the blockchain.
The startup took only a week to close a $5m round of funding with a number of investors showing interest in Mr Sood’s latest startup including AdvancIt Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Keen Crypto.
“Hilarious…Never Had As Much Fun”
Speaking about their new game in development, Mr Sood said in a statement:
“Our first game is hilarious and I’ve never had as much fun as I’ve had with the Irreverent Labs team.”
“I speak often about gaming and blockchain’s inevitable convergence. Players should own their gaming assets the same way they own physical games, and blockchain lets us give control back to players to own, trade, sell, use and build new metaverse experiences using components from our games.”
These play-to-earn games have been around for a little while, but have taken off in 2021 with the likes of Zed Run proving very popular, with players able to earn NFTs while playing the game.
Mr Sood was an initial investor in the Zed Run concept and his ambition with his new start-up hints at him wanting to further expand what is possible.
This will include non-playable characters that utilise the latest artificial intelligence technology to be able to hold real-time and meaningful conversations with players, not just for a few seconds, but hours at a time.
December 2021 Announcement
Little is known about the new 100-year game that Sool and his team are currently developing, although an announcement is expected in December 2021 that will give more details about the game.
It is certainly going to be interesting to see whether this is the start of the next generation of gaming, with blockchain technology likely playing a leading role in the future of gaming and esports.