The Premise: Do we really need to explain it? Transformers tells the story of two opposite factions of configuration-changing robots (hence the name), the Autobots and the Decepticons, who are on a civil war for control of their home planet Cybertron.
In their search for energy, the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, leave Cybertron, but in space they are attacked by the Decepticons, led by Megatron. The struggle causes them to crash on Earth, and after a 4 million year hiatus, they are awakened by a volcanic eruption. The computer on board, Teletraan I, repairs both factions and allows them to transform into the planet’s forms of technologies. The civil war that started in Cybertron continues now on Earth.
Last July, DreamWorks Pictures, Hasbro and Paramount Pictures announced that on April 7th, 2007, a live-action Transformers movie will open in theaters nationwide. The film will be directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orc, and Steven Spielberg will act as executive producer. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom De Santo, and Don Murphy will serve as co-executive producers.
What We Know: At last Comic-Con, Spielberg was clear about one thing: Transformers will be an enduring franchise on the silver screen and the 2007 motion picture will be “the first of many, many Transformers films”. So we can expect a Transformersmania to start in 2007 and it's almost a fact that the movie will get its videogame adaptation.
The last Transformers game was published by Atari and developed by Melbourn House, but we don't know if Hasbro will decide to switch to another publisher after they paid $65 million to reclaim the game rights for most of its franchises, including Transformers. What we do know is that Steven Spielberg, who sold DreamWorks Interactive to Electronic Arts back in 2000, decided to team up with EA's Los Angeles studio (EALA) to create three original games, and if he likes what EA developers have to offer, he might choose EA as the publisher who will handle a potential videogame adaptation of the Transformers movie. At the same time, DreamWorks has maintained for several years a partnership with Activision for its animated films.
At the end of day, it will be up to Hasbro to decide the publisher.
What We Want: Isn't that obvious? Who cares about a single-player campaign? We want a multiplayer game that allows us to choose one of the two factions before starting a match, including any and all of the well-known Autobots or Decepticons we grew up with. We also want the ability to transform in real-time with the push of a button on the Xbox 360 controller and to even have the option to play as a combining sub-group such as the Constructicons.
How cool would be to play a capture-the-flag game in Cybertron or plant a bomb inside Unicron?
Rumor Has It: Activision and Electronic Arts are the only two candidates currently being evaluated to handle this movie-tie-in game. We have heard that the movie will explain the origin of the Transformers and tell the chronicle seen on TV in the “More Than Meets The Eye” three-episode story, then will continue following the Marvel comics. If there’s a Transformers videogame and it has a single-player campaign, this will be the basic plot.
Thanks to Elvin Pena of TFW2005 for the heads-up.