Source: A report citing a source close to the movie-based game's development from British trade paper MCV.
What we heard: Every semi-cherished, vaguely nostalgic property of the '80s short of the The Bionic Six has received its own cinematic revamp recently, so it wasn't incredibly surprising when Dreamworks, Paramount, and Hasbro jointly announced this year that the Transformers would be returning to the silver screen in 2007. What was surprising is that the project would be live-action, directed by Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, Armageddon) and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg (who has shown a soft spot for robots with past productions like *batteries not included and Artificial Intelligence).
While there's little doubt that Activision would want the rights to a Spielberg-produced summer blockbuster chock sure to be chock-full of explosions and giant battling robots, there is some question about whether another publisher might be better positioned to secure the rights. After all, Spielberg has an established business history with Electronic Arts, having sold Dreamworks Interactive to the company in 2000, and having recently signed a deal with EA "to create three new original games."
Then again, Dreamworks has had a partnership with Activision for several years that has yielded a number of games based on its animated features like Shark Tale, Shrek 2, and Madagascar. But Paramount has already established ties with Midway to make movies based on its Fear & Respect and Area 51 games, and put out a pair of films based on Eidos' Tomb Raider franchise. Eidos would be a serious dark horse to make the Transformers game, as Paramount publicly blamed the poor reception of Eidos' Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness game for the second film's lethargic box office showing. Finally, Atari might be in the running as well, considering it developed the successful Transformers PS2 title based on Hasbro's Armada toy line and cartoon. Then again, Hasbro probably bought the robo-rights back from the publisher last year for a reason.
That's a whole lot of people with a possible shot at grabbing the Transformers movie license. However, Activision has an ace up its sleeve. One of the publishers' in-house studios, Treyarch, is responsible for some of the highest-grossing movie-tie-in games of all time. Treyarch developed the multiconsole adaptations of the films Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, which sold a combined 8 million units on all platforms--netting more than $290 million--according to NPD. If that kind of money isn't a major draw, we're not sure what is.
Bogus or not bogus?: Dare we say there's more to this rumor than meets the eye? Nah. Not bogus.