BattleTech started out as a role-playing game produced by the FASA Corporation in the late 20th Century. FASA has worked with a couple of other companies to make video games and games based on the role-playing universe of BattleTech.
The premise of this particular universe is that, in the 31st Century, wars are waged using 50m tall, 75 ton, human-controlled robots called BattleMechs. If you've ever seen the arguably not-so-great movie, Robot Jox, then you get the basic idea; add more complexity into the equation, and you've got it.
There are two sets of societies, each with its own characteristics. There is the Inner Sphere which is subdivided into Houses, like House Davion or House Marik, which is based near Earth. Then there are the Clans, a group of people who left Earth on a mass exodus and feel that returning to and taking control of Earth is their destiny. The technology varies between the two societies along with their political and religious habits.
In the role-playing game, each player controls one or more 'mechs' in a battle that takes place on predetermined terrain which falls onto a hexagonal grid. The game can be played using miniatures on a fully designed terrain (like model train sets) if the players get the creative urge.
The home computer series of games were produced under the MechWarrior title by FASA in cooperation with various computer games companies over the years. Each of the games follow a specific story line and your victory or defeat in any given battle defines what happens next (in the later versions, anyway).
The more immersive1 computer game, also by the name of BattleTech, was produced in association with Virtual World Entertainment, LLC and uses their 'Tesla Pods' to provide a fully enclosed multiplayer experience. These pods have one main computer monitor for your viewpoint, one for radar, and numerous smaller 'Multi-function Displays', each one displaying the status of various parts of the player's 'mech'. The ultimate object of this multiplayer game, as with the previous ones, is to kill off all of your opponents.
Overall, the BattleTech universe is a very attractive one for gamers and people who like to deal in futuristic settings.