Jagex to shut down Transformers Universe on January 31st

After being playable for roughly as many months as it was years in development, gamesindustry.biz reports that Jagex has pulled the plug on Transformers Universe, the MMO turned MOBA turned whatever they wound up calling it. The Runescape creator will move on to developing its own IP once again; the move is not entirely unexpected after a recent round of layoffs. Keep reading for more details!

Last month, UK developer Jagex proposed downsizing its team as the free-to-play MMO Transformers Universe "reaches a new stage of development in its life cycle." That stage in the life cycle would be the last one, as today the company said it will shutter the game entirely.

The move was agreed upon with Transformers owner Hasbro, and both companies will move on to new things. Jagex said it is changing its development strategy going forward to focus on its own intellectual property, like the long-running RuneScape. Hasbro, on the other hand, "intends to pursue alternative digital gaming opportunities" for its robots-in-disguise franchise.

"If there are any staffing issues that arise out of this additional level of restructuring, then we will discuss them with the parties concerned first and foremost," a Jagex representative said. "As ever, we will make any possible outcomes public, but only at the appropriate time."

Transformers Universe has entered a maintenance period, and will shut down for good on January 31 next year.

More detail from Eurogamer:

The game shuts its doors at 10am UK time on 31st January 2015, but the closing down period begins today. Jagex will refund all who have bought a Founders Pack, as well as those who have bought relic bundles and starter packs. Expect the refund to be processed in the next 30 days.

New players can no longer create accounts. Those with existing accounts can continue to use them until the closure date.

"Once again we want to thank all of the players that have played Transformers Universe and all those that have worked on the project," Jagex said.

"We're sure you have thoughts and feelings that you'd like to share on this, so please do so on our forums. Please bear in mind that this is obviously a challenging time for all involved, especially the CM team. There will be plenty of things we can't comment on, so please respect their position."

We've heard whispers of layoffs at UK developer Jagex, which also makes fantasy MMO Runescape, for some time, and it sounds like Transformers Universe's lack of success may be behind at least some of them.

"Today Jagex and Hasbro can confirm that Transformers Universe will close," reads the statement. "This decision comes at an important time for both companies as they both realign their plans and focuses for 2015."

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