After the monolithic success of Pokemon GO and the comparatively quiet (but still successful) Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, developer of Niantic is primed to release yet another augmented reality mobile game based on a classic IP. According to Bloomberg, Transformers: Heavy Metal is that game, and it's set to formally announce the title today.
Bloomberg notes that Niantic's plan to release what most would call Transformers GO is just the latest of around 12 games the team currently has in development. After the success of Pokemon GO and the release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, IP-holders like Mattel must be lining up hoping to recreate the resurgence of popularity Pokemon GO created for their own nostalgic brands.
When Will Transformers: Heavy Metal Release?
Niantic CEO John Hanke stated to Bloomberg that "Some of it has been ready for a while. We were just sort of waiting for the right time to start introducing that", suggesting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which actually helped Pokemon GO post record revenue numbers, was the reason why the developer has been slow to release some of the games said to be in development.
Two of these games including a Pikmin title (which is another collaboration with Nintendo) and Catan: World Explorers. Both of these titles are apparently already in the hands of some users for testing and are on course to release this year, with Transformers: Heavy Metal also set to release before 2022.
What is Transformers: Heavy Metal?
So what is Transformers: Heavy Metal, anyway? As anyone familiar with the franchise will know, it's all about giant robots smashing each other apart.
"...Giant robots walking around the real world is just too good to pass up.” said Hanke, and after eight years of talks with Hasbro dreaming up how to use augmented reality to bring the larger-than-life machines to the real world, the game is ready and waiting for users to put to the test.
But the augmented reality aspect may need a little bit more time. This month, people in New Zealand will be able to play an early version of the game that will use static backgrounds in battle rather than the planned real-world backgrounds with gigantic augmented reality robots superimposed within.