Pokemon Go Developer Niantic Is Working On A New Transformers AR Game
There's more than meets the eye with Niantic's next mobile game, Transformers: Heavy Metal.
Pokemon Go developer Niantic became a household name after its pocket monster mobile game took off a few years ago, and for its next project, the company is looking to adapt Transformers into an augmented reality game.
As reported by Bloomberg, Niantic's next game will be Transformers: Heavy Metal, a mobile experience that will allow fans to battle each other with characters from the Hasbro property.
Scheduled for release this year, Niantic will first start testing out a pared-back version of the game in New Zealand this month, with Autobot and Decepticon characters appearing against a static background instead of a real-world location.
"It's almost as if it was designed for augmented reality," said John Hanke, Niantic's chief executive officer, to Bloomberg. "This isn't battle on a distant planet in a galaxy far, far away. It's about giant robots coming to Earth and having battles in the middle of Los Angeles. For us, giant robots walking around the real world is just too good to pass up."
The appeal is definitely there, and concept art from the game of Autobot scout Bumblebee hints at the game providing a more modern twist on the Generation One art style of the Transformers franchise. Something which should appeal to longtime fans of the franchise, which has grown over the last decade to include several new animated series, more live-action feature films, and a ton of toys.
As for Niantic's bread 'n butter game Pokemon Go, new activities are launching soon. Beginning June 17, Team Go Rocket leader Giovanni will have a Shadow Ho-Oh in his possession, making this your first chance to catch the Shadow form of the Legendary Pokemon from the Johto region.
Pokemon Go Fest 2021 kicks off next month, and like last year the event will be open to players around the world as it features rotating virtual habitats, special Pokemon spawns, and various other bonuses. As part of the event, Niantic even teased that the Mythical Pokemon Meloetta will be introduced to the game.