“BattleBots Update” came from humble beginnings in 2008 as a small weekly column on the now-defunct variety website Radio F Software Headquarters (RFSHQ). Authored by Dracophile, it was his last regular column for the website before departing from the project. Originally, RFSHQ would post an archived episode of BattleBots from the original Comedy Central seasons (beginning with season one, episode one) every Saturday, and on the following Sunday the BattleBots Update column would have a new article posted to it that took a satirical look at the fights and competitors… plus any skits or additional non-battle content the producers included.
The re-issuing of BattleBots through RFSHQ was literally the first of its kind online and spurred other tape collectors to digitize and share their content as well. Though there are now much better VHS rips available online, to this day you can still sometimes find old videos on YouTube branded with “Presented by RFSHQ.com” in the lower left corner that have been shared and re-uploaded by enthusiasts. BattleBots Update garnered a decent readership, and even though the column only lasted for two out of the show’s five seasons Dracophile still brought the column back (in name only) for an article covering the Killer Robots special on Science Channel for RoboGames 2011.
With BattleBots having officially ended as a television show in 2003, and BattleBots Update going by the wayside in 2008, it was a safe assumption that the final page had been turned in the column’s story. There were rumors and talk here and there of other BattleBots events — which did happen — but never made it to air. The BattleBots company also uploaded selected content from these events as well as full Comedy Central episodes of their own, but nothing of substance happened until BattleBots announced in 2015 that ABC had officially taken the tournament under their wing. “The Update”, as fans started to informally call it, was a smash hit; builders and competitors laughed along, fans new and old enjoyed reading and sharing the content, and even BattleBots themselves publicly endorsed The Update as a hilarious (albeit crude) comedy spectacle.
It had been a long long time, but if BattleBots was going to come back then god damn it so was BattleBots Update. We were committed to bringing you snarky and lighthearted coverage almost a decade ago and rain or shine we’ll be right here doing it all over again as we follow the the new generation of not just BattleBots, but the robot combat circuit itself.
It’s good to be back.