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Pokemon GO Developer Releasing Radical Transformers Game

Niantic, the software team that developed the viral Augmented Reality (AR) game Pokemon GO, is working with Hasbro and TOMY to develop a new mobile game based on the Transformers franchise.

Called Transformers: Heavy Metal, the new game will see players battle with characters from the Transformers series in real world settings using the game’s AR features. The idea is similar to the concept behind Pokemon GO, in which Pokemon ‘trainers’ could find and capture wild Pokemon, and indulge in epic boss battles in real-life locations.

John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, says the story concept behind Transformers is also ideal for a mobile AR treatment, and he expects there will soon be millions of fans prowling the world, pitting their robots against the competition. “Transformers is the perfect franchise for AR. Battling and interacting with giant robots in the real world is an amazing experience,” said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic. “We want to live up to the high expectations of Transformers fans around the world and bring them a game unlike anything they’ve played before.”

At one point the phenomenon was so popular it was common to see dozens of people congregating in public places to battle rare and elusive Pokemon characters.

Development on the title is being led by the Seattle-based gaming studio Very Very Spaceship, using Niantic’s Lightship platform for AR gaming. The title is expected to be released in late 2021, and executive producer Phil Hong says he expects a warm reception for the title.

“In thinking about franchises that would be incredible to bring to life in AR, Transformers was a no-brainer,” said Hong. “This will be a Transformers game unlike any other, an AR game where you’ll get to team up with the likes of Bumblebee and the Autobots in the real world, powered by the Niantic Lightship platform.

“We’ve been working super hard on this with Seattle-based Very Very Spaceship as the development studio. We’ll enter soft launch in select countries soon, and global launch is planned for later this year.”