Transformers Universe changed from MMORPG to MOBA to fit the brand

Jagex Games Studio's Transformers Universe massively-multiplayer online title entered development as a traditional MMORPG, but was changed because initial concepts didn't mesh with the Transformers brand, reports Edge Online.

The game was initially focused on in-game characters that wore transforming robot suits. The concept was altered when former Grand Theft Auto series animator Alex Horton joined Jagex as chief creative director last year.

"Transformers are about war; they're about action," said Horton. "They don't carry gold, bake bread, catch fish, cut down trees. But for all they take away, they throw open so many more opportunities. Maybe there's more in a selection of characters and abilities, and the strategy in that, than there is [in] leveling a character endlessly and going through fuck loads of boss battles."

Transformers Universe is based on the 2010 computer animated series Transformer Prime. Players collect Jagex-designed Transformers, upgrade their weapons and abilities and send one at a time into battle. Players can fight on the side of either the Autobots or Decepticons, and each time a faction wins a battle they progress to the next part of a faction-specific storyline.

"We can't do this game without telling a story," Horton said. "Obviously, all the stuff I did with Sam and Dan Houser [at Rockstar] was about that, but what we're aspiring to make is a suite of different battlefields that we need to give context to. I think story's very important for that.

"We need to set ourselves up not just as a business, but with a story that doesn't have a neat conclusion like a boxed game," he added.

Transformers Universe will be browser-based and is currently in development with no announced release date.

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