Word came down today that Hasbro has teamed up with Jagex developers of the free to play MMO RuneScape, to create a Transformers MMO. I’ll skip the PR hyperbole trimming as that’s Bill’s cup of tea, but there was a lot of the word “iconic” being bandied about. I love the Transformers, as my basement and office cubicle can attest to, but this announcement leaves me absolutely cold. I’m assuming the MMO would be very similar to something like DC Universe Online where you’ll play some Autobot or Decepticon grunt fighting for control of some remote piece of Cybertron with the occasional appearance by Optimus Prime or Starscream to make it feel “authentic”. I’m sure this is just me being cynical, but I’ll pass. Heck, with my current Transformers collection in the hundreds, and growing, I’ve got everything I need for a massive multiplayer battle already.
Here’s the official PR speak if you’re interested:
Iconic AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS Set to Battle Online in 2012
PAWTUCKET, R.I. – March 14, 2011 – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) announced today that it has signed a strategic development agreement with Jagex Limited to jointly create a new online game based on the globally iconic TRANSFORMERS brand. Under the agreement, the two companies are slated to launch the TRANSFORMERS online game in 2012 in North America, Latin America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Jagex, based in the United Kingdom, is one of the largest independent game developers and publishers in the world with a dedicated global user base of millions playing its more than 40 online games. The company’s flagship game, RuneScape, is the world’s most popular free-to-play MMOG.
“Hasbro’s decision to align with Jagex speaks to the quality of their award-winning development and publishing team that boasts an outstanding track record of delivering innovative and fun online games capable of reaching millions of gamers across the globe,” said Mark Blecher, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Gaming and Media at Hasbro. “We are extremely excited to create a dream team that combines TRANSFORMERS brand stewards with Jagex development experts to deliver an epic TRANSFORMERS gaming experience to fans in 2012.”
“TRANSFORMERS is one of the most iconic brands in the world and we are delighted to team up with Hasbro in order to bring our shared vision to reality,” said Mark Gerhard, CEO at Jagex Games Studio. “There is a huge appetite for an online TRANSFORMERS game and we will utilize every bit of our development and publishing expertise to deliver a dynamic and action-packed game that TRANSFORMERS fans will find irresistible.”