Techno Dabbler

Trying out new technology.

Friday

23

January 2015

Farewell Transformers Universe

by Alexandre Denault, on PC, Videogames, Tranformers

Farewell Transformers Universe

On December 16th, Jagex and Hasbro announced that Transformers Universe, a third person multiplayer online battle arena game featuring Transformers, would close. Both companies stated the "decision comes at an important time for both companies as they both realign their plans and focuses for 2015".

The game was first announced at Botcon 2011 and has gone throught several revisions over the years. The game reached the Open Beta phase on July 4th, 2014, but failed to reach a full release.

The game suffered from many monetization and gameplay issue. On the gameplay side, the game demonstrated many issues relating to balance, both with characters and matchmaking. This is understandable, given that this kind of balancing is quite difficult and requires time. The game monetized itself by selling a premium currency, which could be used to unlock bots, paint schemes and items. How those items could be used changed a couple of times during the beta.

When the game transitions from closed beta to open beta, prices were dramaticly increased. Jagex explained that prices during the closed beta were intentionally low, as to stimulate the game's economy. Player's reponsed that it would be mad to spend as much as 35 USD for a single "virtual" Transformers.

Although Transformers Universe never got the opportunity to fully mature, the beginnings were fairly entertaining. PvP required lots of tweaking, but the PvE missions were a blast. Transformation was actualy useful, which is critical in any Transformers game. Bots could be leveled up and customized to further specialize them depending on the player's player style.

The worst sin is that the game never got the proper opportunity to explore the Transformers lore. Set in the Prime (aligned) continuity, Transformers Universe had such a rich history to explore. Several key characters were announced to be added as playable characters (Wheeljack, Knockout, Chromia, Flamewar, etc.), but were never included into the game. The addition of key characters would have had an important effect on monetization, which in turn could have influenced the fate of the game.

Unfortunately, this is farewell. Although the game was not a success, it demonstrated the great potiential of massively online game in the Transformers Universe).

Alexandre Denault
Alexandre Denault

Veteran software developer and holds a PhD in Computer Science. Avid computer enthusiast (geek) who has been dabbling with technology ever since his Dad brought home an 8086 computer.

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