Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will soon be zooming around on a street near you.
“Transformers: Heavy Metal” is an augmented-reality mobile game due out later in 2021 that will use the AR platform from Niantic, the company behind breakthrough title “Pokémon Go.” The game promises to let fans use their smartphones to team up with — and combat — the transforming autonomous robots.
In the game, players will join the Guardian Network, a group of humans who have banded together with the Autobots in a war against the Decepticons. As Guardians, players will uncover hidden regions across Earth to find resources and fight Decepticons in turn-based battles, either solo or with friends.
“Transformers: Heavy Metal” will be soft-launched in “select markets” soon, according to Niantic, without providing additional details. The game will be free to play, with planned in-app purchases.
Seattle-based Very Very Spaceship is leading development of the game and toy company Tomy is Niantic’s partner for the release in Japan. The AR game is being developed in partnership with Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand.
Niantic released Bumblebee concept art for “Transformers: Heavy Metal” (above) and two screenshots from the forthcoming game:
“Transformers is the perfect franchise for AR,” Niantic CEO John Hanke said in a statement. “Battling and interacting with giant robots in the real world is an amazing experience. We want to live up to the high expectations of Transformers fans around the world and bring them a game unlike anything they’ve played before.”
“Transformers: Heavy Metal” will use Lightship, Niantic’s global AR platform that provides real-time 3D mapping and multiplayer social experiences. More info on the game will be available at transformersheavymetal.com.
Niantic, which spun out of Google in 2015, also is the developer and publisher of “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” under a pact with Warner Bros. Entertainment and Warner Bros. Games.