Autobots, roll out! Niantic is teaming up with Hasbro to create a new Pokémon Go-style AR game called Transformers: Heavy Metal. The map-heavy game will be geolocation-centric, and is expected to launch in late 2021, though some countries may soon get a soft launch option.
The two companies are also collaborating with TOMY and Seattle-based game team Very Very Spaceship to produce the game. So far, none of the companies have released a ton of details about the game, but you can go ahead and sign up for updates on the game’s pre-registration page here.
Phil Hong, Niantic Executive Producer, stated, “In thinking about franchises that would be incredible to bring to life in AR, Transformers was a no-brainer. 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.”
Niantic’s Lightship platform is the same engine powering Pokémon Go, Harry Potter Wizards Unite, and the still-being-developed CATAN: World Explorers. The game looks to blend the familiarity of previous Niantic properties with a fun touch of nostalgia for those old enough to remember watching the Transformers cartoons in the mid 1980s (or Michael Bay’s treatment of the movies more recently).
A phased rollout seems to be Niantic’s M.O., as seen by Pokémon Go‘s Japan-first launch and Catan‘s quiet New Zealand-first launch last year. Be sure to keep an eye out for a possible soft launch of Transformers: Heavy Metal in “select markets” soon, along with its global release later this year.