Autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons online next year, as Hasbro grants the power to create a massively multiplayer online game based on the robots in disguise to Jagex, the folks behind popular free-to-play MMO RuneScape.
Now there's nothing wrong with RuneScape. Cambridge, England, based Jagex Game Studios has been operating the free-to-play fantasy MMO since 2001, and it still has a strong, loyal following ten years later. The studio has also been working on a new science fiction MMO, Stellar Dawn, seeking to duplicate the success of RuneScape in a futuristic setting.
And now they are creating a Transformers MMO.
This is news I've been waiting for ever since the MMO explosion began in the late 1990's. A game that grants me the ability to create my own robot, choose a vehicle mode, and join the Autobots in their never-ending war against the evil Decepticons is something I've dreamt of for over a decade.
I just never pictured Jagex being involved. Sony Online Entertainment, perhaps. Maybe Turbine, or (in my wildest dreams) Blizzard, but never Jagex.
Perhaps they'll do a stellar job. Hasbro doesn't hand over its licenses lightly, and if the company has that much faith, perhaps we should as well.
"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."
There are still many unanswered questions. Which continuity will the game be set in? First generation? The movies? The new animated television show? Can they actually get anyone to play Decepticons, when the faction is clearly filled with ineffectual lackeys that never get the job done? Will I be able to turn into a pretzel stand?
Will it light our darkest hour, or is it nothing more than bad comedy? We'll find out in 2012.
Update: Just heard from Jagex public relations that the MMO will be based partly on Transformers Prime, the new animated series airing on the Hub network, though is said to feature characters from Generation One and other Transformers universes.