Niantic, the renowned augmented reality gaming company behind Pokémon Go, has reportedly announced a new collaboration with Hasbro to develop a new augmented reality mobile game called ‘Transformer Heavy Metal’.
According to reports, the new game would be based on Niantic’s Lightship platform, which is the same engine that powers Pokémon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite. Along with Hasbro, Niantic is also partnering with TOMY and Very Very Spaceship to develop the game.
In line with Niantic's press release, the new game will see players joining the Guardian Network, which would be a group of individuals who have teamed-up with the Autobots to defeat the Decepticons. As Guardians, players will be able to discover different parts of the Earth through turn-based fights with Decepticons, which they can do alone or with allies.
Phil Hong, Executive Producer at Niantic, stated that transformers was a no-brainer when it came to making AR-based games, and it would be incredible to bring these iconic robots to life through AR. Transformers Heavy Metal will be a game unlike any other, an augmented reality game powered by the Niantic Lightship platform that will allow players to team up with characters like Bumblebee and other Autobots in the real world.
Hong also added that the team at Niantic is working hard alongside the Seattle-based studio named Very Very Spaceship to complete the game by the end of this year. The company is planning for a soft launch in selected countries soon, with eyes set on global launch later this year.
John Hanke, Niantic’s Chief Executive Officer stated, Niantic has been discussing a possible AR adaptation of Transformers with Hasbro, the toymaker that owns the Transformers’ copyrights, for approximately eight years now.
Hanke further added that designing a game where groups of smartphone-toting players combat enormous artificial robots on city streets was a big technological challenge because it means rendering large, continuously moving visuals and understanding how each player is engaging with them.
Meanwhile, Niantic is also in the process of developing approximately a dozen games, aimed at different player demographics. The company will start rolling these out as regular life comes back to various countries across the world.