Niantic of Pokémon Go fame is bringing their real-world augmented reality know-how to Transformers.
Called Transformers: Heavy Metal, the game is a collaboration between Niantic, Hasbro, and Tomy. Seattle-based Very Very Spaceship was brought in to work with Niantic on development duties.
“In thinking about franchises that would be incredible to bring to life in AR, Transformers was a no-brainer,” writes executive producer Phil 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.”
Bloomberg reports that Niantic has been in talks with Hasbro about an AR Transformers game for eight years. “It’s almost as if it was designed for augmented reality,” says John Hanke, Niantic’s chief executive officer. “This isn’t battle on a distant planet in a galaxy far, far away. It’s about giant robots coming to Earth and having battles in the middle of Los Angeles. For us, giant robots walking around the real world is just too good to pass up.”
Transformers: Heavy Metal is going into a soft launch in select countries “soon.” (According to Bloomberg, a limited number of players will get to test a pared back version in New Zealand this June.) A global launch is penciled in for later this year.