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Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe now a 'MOTA,' set for summer release

Betas, Sci-Fi, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe promotional art
The last we heard about Jagex's development of Transformers Universe was in July of 2013 when it was announced that 13 employees had been laid off from the game's development team. Today, however, Jagex CEO and CTO Mark Gerhard announced some big news regarding the would-be Transformers MMO. Specifically, he announced that... it's not exactly an MMO anymore.

Transformers Universe is now being called a "massively online, tactical action game, or MOTA," and Gerhard states that it offers "fast-paced, battle centric, tactical action with a selection of game modes for core gamers, casual gamers, and Transformers enthusiasts alike." All the nitty-gritty gameplay details can be found in the official post, but Gerhard specifically addresses the studio's long radio silence, stating that "from today onwards [fans] can expect regular updates, and soon all start participating first-hand" in the game's ongoing development. He mentions that the studio is "100% set to launch Transformers Universe this summer" and that they will be progressively inviting registered players into the game's beta testing. To get all the full details on this new "MOTA" or to sign up for beta, head over to the Transformers Universe official site.

Jagex 'scales back' Transformers Universe team with layoffs

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Transformers Universe

Scale back enough and you'll be making Robots in Disguise: The Game.
The development history of Transformers Universe has not been a smooth one, with the game going silent for long stretches of time and having changed focus once already. The latest news from the studio is not good, either; Jagex has laid off 13 employees from the game's development team. The reports indicate that there are internal concerns being raised about the title's overall quality, as the studio is under pressure from Hasbro to release before the end of the year.

According to the developer, the game is in no danger and is progressing marvelously, but sources within the company claim that its position is "precarious," citing the switch to unfamiliar technology and the need for faster development. Jagex stressed that the changes in staff should not adversely impact the title, which was originally tracked for a release back in 2012. Our best wishes go out to those designers personally affected by these layoffs.

Transformers Universe launch window narrowed to fall 2013

Betas, Sci-Fi, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe
Love MMOs but disappointed your wizard or elf or whatever can't turn into a car or tank? If your answer is, "Yes, I am absolutely tired of my characters not turning into vehicles," Transformers Universe might be the game you've been waiting for.

The browser-based title, developed by Jagex with a little help from Hasbro Gaming, is currently slated for release in 2013. And while we still have no official launch date, comments by the Hasbro brand team at this year's Botcon 2013 have narrowed the release window down just a touch, confirming that the game is due this fall.

Jagex has kept the game mostly under lock and key, but you can catch a glimpse of it by registering for closed beta and hoping the key-gods show you favor.

[Thanks to Max for the tip!]

Jagex boasts best financial year ever

Fantasy, Business Models, Economy, MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous, Transformers Universe

Jagex boasts best financial year ever
Jagex has announced today that the company has had its most successful year to date, earning £50 million for the first time in the studio's history. In addition, the largest independent game studio in the UK employs a staff of over 550 people with the potential to grow even further.

"2013 is set to be an even bigger year for Jagex as we release the biggest update in RuneScape's history, launch Transformers Universe and publish a number of new titles." CEO Mark Gerhard pointed out in a press release this morning. The studio's flagship title, RuneScape, saw "tens of millions of new players enter the game for the first time during 2012," solidifying the classic MMO as a free-to-play powerhouse.

[Source: Jagex press release]

Jagex appoints filmmaker as new creative director for Transformers Universe and RuneScape 3

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Miscellaneous, Transformers Universe

Jagex appoints filmmaker as new Creative Director for Transformers Universe and RuneScape 3
Jagex has announced today the appointment of Alex de Rakoff as Creative Director to the popular MMO studio. Not only has de Rakoff directed award-winning music videos, but he's also well-known for his films, working with actors like Orlando Bloom and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson.

No, that doesn't mean Jagex is working on a Legolas or a gangsta rap MMO, but it does mean that the upcoming Transformers Universe and RuneScape 3 will both benefit from de Rakoff's experience and creativity. In fact, before being officially hired in-house by Jagex, de Rakoff had already been writing the story for Transformers Universe under contract.

You can learn more about Alex on his IMDb profile.

[Source: Jagex press release]

Jagex positioning Transformers Universe as a MOBA

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Browser, Transformers Universe, MOBA

Transformers Universe - needs more MOBA
If you're in the camp who thought a Transformers MMO was the worst idea in the long history of bad ideas, well, we've got good news. Jagex agrees with you, sort of, but the firm has also decided that the license is more fitting for a MOBA than an MMORPG and has adjusted the development trajectory accordingly.

"Transformers are about war; they're about action," Jagex chief creative director Alex Horton recently told Edge. "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 f--- loads of boss battles."

Transformers Universe will be a browser-based title. Jagex has not yet announced a release date.

Transformers Universe now accepting beta sign-ups

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Transformers Universe

Transformers universe beta signs ups, thank tipster
If you've always wanted to turn into your favorite evil or heroic robot and destroy or save the universe, your time is now! Transformers Universe has just begun accepting sign-ups for beta testing. To register, head on over to the official website and choose your allegiance.

Transformers Universe is a free-to-play title by Jagex that's aiming for a browser client release. Players will duke it out as Autobots and Decepticons. While Earth is going to be the original battleground, the game will eventually expand to the stars and beyond.

[Thanks to savvy reader Jeremy for the tip!]

NYCC 2012: Transformers Universe trailer, screenshots unveiled

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe
Jagex has been keeping details about the upcoming Transformers Universe MMO on the down low until today, when the Jagex team took advantage of NYCC to release the game's first official trailer.

Transformers Universe will be free-to-play with microtransaction support. Jagex has announced plans to keep the game running for at least 10 years, allowing for exploration to take players to the stars -- even to Cybertron itself.

Skip below the cut to feast your eyes upon the glory of Transformers Universe!

[Thanks to groovy webizen Guy for the tip!]

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Transformers Universe to leave Earth (someday)

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe to leave Earth someday
We're getting some solid information about Jagex's upcoming Transformers Universe from the recent London MCM Expo. The team took to the stage to talk about the title, revealing quite a few new details -- including the revelation that the game won't be confined to just Earth.

The team is making Transformers Universe with the intention to keep the game going for at least 10 years; it has latched onto the "Universe" moniker to indicate it will eventually expand the game from our terrestrial ball to the stars (including Cybertron).

Transformers Universe will use Energon as the game's currency, and while the team will use microtransactions to fund this free-to-play title, the exact model has not been finalized. Players will be able to pick between male and female characters and will use their alternate (non-robotic) modes for more than just transportation. At the game launch, players will be able to transform only into vehicles, but Jagex says that there are plans in the works for other forms such as animals.

[Thanks to Austin for the tip!]

RuneScape and Transformers Universe appearing at London MCM Expo for the first time

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Transformers Universe

Jagex
Jagex is heading to the MCM Expo for the first time, with RuneScape and Transformers Universe in tow. The studio has special plans for its fans at the largest pop culture event in the UK, not the least of which will be the opportunity to meet members of the dev team.

At the convention, RuneScapers will get a deeper look into how the game is developed, watch the creation of concept art, and have the opportunity to pick up one of several player packs for the game. The packs will come in two varieties: a starter pack and a premium pack that includes cosmetic items, membership, and an exclusive t-shirt.

Transformers Universe fans also will get to meet the dev team and reserve their names for the game when it releases later this year.

Brian Cooney, the managing director of the expo, is thrilled to have the studio on board: "Each year people ask me if they are coming and finally I can say 'Yes!' The Jagex stand promises to be a 'must see' for show visitors."

The London Expo takes place from May 25th through the 27th at the Excel.

Jagex announces Transformers Universe plans for BotCon 2012, includes sneak-peek and name reservations

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe logo
Transformers fanatics everywhere are surely gearing up for the official Transformers fan convention, BotCon 2012, which will be taking place in Dallas, Texas, from April 26th until the 29th. Well, Jagex is giving fans of its upcoming MMO Transformers Universe a reason to be even more excited for the con: Attendees will have the opportunity to pledge their allegiances to the Autobots or Decepticons and reserve their in-game character names.

On top of that, members of Jagex's Transformers Universe development team will be hanging out at Jagex's con booth, and fans will be able to "meet with members of the development team, attend a behind closed doors Transformers Universe panel discussion, and preview the latest game trailer ahead of its public release." So if you want to get a sneak-peek at Transformers Universe and reserve your favorite character name for the game's release, just set your sights on BotCon 2012 and transform and roll out.

[Source: Jagex press release]

'Staunchly British' Jagex sets the record straight about its new ownership

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Stellar Dawn, Transformers Universe

Jagex studios
Jagex doesn't take kindly to being called an American company these days, it appears. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, CEO Mark Gerhard set the record straight about the recently reported deal that put the British game studio under the purview of an American investment firm.

Because the deal was made earlier last year, Gerhard sees this as old news and stressed that the company was trucking on much the same as it ever was. "The insinuation that this is a company that somehow now is run by bankers in the US again couldn't be further from the truth," he said. "Sure we therefore have some American shareholders, but the management and the culture and the ethos and everything else is the same people, in the same hands, and staunchly British."

He also clarified why the studio's profits were reported to be down: "If you look at our company's house filings, revenues are up but profits are down, and those aren't because we're doing a crap job, that's because we're consciously taking those profits and ploughing them back into the business."

Gerhard said that the company was "very, very selective" when it came to investors, and that it feels completely comfortable with the current board of directors. He said that the new investors were not interfering with the day-to-day development and operations of Jagex's ever-expanding library of titles: "I'm very excited for the year ahead and everyone in the studio is very focused on, not just making RuneScape and 8Realms a financial success, but our work on Stellar Dawn and even Transformers coming together to make truly great games for this year."

God save the green: Deal makes Jagex a US company

MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Legal, Miscellaneous, Transformers Universe

Jagex
Jagex is trading up the Union Jack for the Stars and Stripes, as controlling interest in the studio has changed hands to a US firm.

Insight Venture Partners
, a venture capital firm from the US, completed a deal last year to increase its ownership to 55% of the UK-based company. Previously, the firm had 35% interest in Jagex. Now that the scales have tipped to the new ownership, this technically makes Jagex a US-controlled company and has US investors leading its board of directors.

While revenues were up 2% for Jagex in 2011, both operating and net profits were significantly down from the previous financial year. Jagex is a major player in the MMO free-to-play market, with RuneScape, Transformers Universe, and 8Realms as part of its project portfilio.

Develop reports that the controlling interest was made possible by Jagex co-founder Andrew Gower selling off his ownership claims to the firm for $115.65 million. As part of the deal, Jagex paid $3.85 million in expenses. The studio will remain in Cambridge while its controlling firm is in NYC.

The Perfect Ten: The upcoming long-shots

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, World of Darkness, Fallout Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Transformers Universe, Otherland, MechWarrior Online

Perfect Ten
In coming up with a follow-up list to my previous Upcoming MMO Contenders list, I found myself almost paralyzed by more choices than I could shake a wireless mouse at. Pointing at the sure bets is one thing, but narrowing down a field of dozens and dozens of interesting -- yet more far-flung -- prospects is far more difficult. It's one thing to have a good idea; it's another to say whether or not this game will actually make it to launch, and if it does, that it'll pull the idea off well.

That said, I've lost some hair and two pounds sweating out this list, and I feel sleeker for it. Today's Perfect Ten is all about the long-shots, the titles that may not have the huge budget, big name studios, or anything solid to show for it, but could still become contenders in their own right if everything is played just right.

Deep breath -- let's give it a go!

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Transformers Universe NYCC panel recap

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe banner
Autobots, transform and roll -- Oh, hi. No, I wasn't playing with action figures. Anyway, how about that new Transformers Universe game that Jagex is making, huh? Well, there's some new information about it straight from the Q&A panel at New York Comic Con, so let's talk about that and not the action figures I wasn't playing with.

The panel covers a veritable smorgasbord of information, ranging from lore to gameplay to voice acting to technology and security. The team points out that the game will not tie into the Michael Bay movies in any way, as it takes place in the franchise's Prime universe. The game will be browser-based and free-to-play, though the team isn't ready to announce how the game will be monetized. PvE and PvP will both be available -- as if a Transformers game would be complete without Autobot vs. Decepticon action -- but the team says that both tie in to story elements within the game. The devs also note that players' Transformers' vehicle modes will be more than just mounts (that is to say, vehicle mode will tie into combat somehow) but they're not ready to discuss specifics.

The full panel addresses much more in greater detail, so click on through the link below to read the full report.

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