Hoping to demystify this game's history, Tformers recently had an opportunity to ask Jagex's David Nicholson, VP of Transformers Universe some questions about it. Unfortunately, their answers only confused things more with switching the mode of the game AGAIN for the third time from MMO, to MOBA, and what they are now calling a MOTA (Massively Online Tactical Action Game). We also learn that game is set in the Prime continuity with others to be included. Read on for the full Q&A.
Tformers: When did development of Transformers Universe begin?
David Nicholson: The design and development of Transformers Universe started in 2011, when we announced our plan to bring the Transformers franchise to online.
Tformers: Transformers Universe began as an MMORPG, but has since been redesigned as an MOBA. Could you explain how an MOBA differs from an MMO?
David Nicholson: Well, Transformers Universe is a MOTA - a Massively Online Tactical Action Game - not a MOBA. As the name suggests players will have to harness both action and tactics to defeat their enemies and gain victory for their faction. We are an MMO but not an MMORPG or MOBA. Transformers Universe features a breadth of gameplay which will appeal to PvP and PvE gamers alike.
Tformers: Can you tell us about what led to the change in direction for the game's format?
David Nicholson: Since the beginning of development on the game, our objective for Transformers Universe has always been to carve out our own space in this well-established and much loved universe. However, we also wanted to ensure the game we created met a balance between working for the Transformers brand and being a reflection of today’s gaming landscape.
The result was that we moved away from delivering 'RuneScape: The Cybertron Edition' and focused on upping the emphasis on action and the different skills of a collection of Transformers Warriors. This meant that we are staying true to what Jagex is best at - pushing forward the free-to-play, browser-based gaming arena - while creating a collaborative & competitive combat experience with deep MMO heritage.
Tformers: Although the visual style favours the recent Transformers: Prime series, what other influences from the history of Transformers have shaped the game, if any?
David Nicholson: It’s very true that over the past 30 years an incredibly rich lore and history has surrounded the Transformers property. This has meant we’ve been able to draw a lot of inspiration from that for Transformers Universe, starting with the original cartoon and the 1986 animated movie, right through to the Michael Bay films and the recent Prime series.
Tformers: Transformers fans love continuity. Is Universe meant to take place within an established Transformers world such as Transformers: Prime, or is this a new, unique world?
David Nicholson: As a game Transformers Universe sit within the [Generations] continuity, so we’re working within the overall Transformers story. That said, we have a style and tone that’s our own, but the game is still part of the overall Transformers universe.
[NOTE: In a recent press release, it was stated this was set in the Transformers Generations continuity. We confirmed with Jagex that It is indeed in Generations. Saying it was in Prime continuity was a mistake on David's part.]
Tformers: How involved has Hasbro's Transformers brand team been in the development of the game and creation of new characters like the just-revealed Duststorm and Meltdown?
David Nicholson: We work closely with Hasbro to design the new warriors being introduced to Transformers Universe. They help us refine the characters, give input on the direction of the game and help to ensure that everything we do fits firmly within the Transformers franchise.
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