Transformers: The Last Knight – due to be released globally in 2017 – will become the 5th movie in the franchise about cars that transform into automatons to do battle with the forces of evil. Following 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction (the franchise had a reboot of sorts after 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon and drafted Mark Wahlberg to head up the human cast, replacing Shia LaBeouf), The Last Knight will also have a video game released alongside it.
An eagle eyed fan’s spotting of a trademark application in 2016 by Hasbro for a video game titled Transformers: Last Night (‘the’ can’t be trademarked!) hinted at the latest Transformers movie to release a game alongside it.
In April 2017, the trademarking was revealed to have been successful – as more eagle eyed viewers discovered that the rating had been released declaring the game PG. Many fans are already feeling the excitement build up for the Transformers mobile game. The 2014 Transformers: Robots in Disguise mobile game received a high amount of popularity. The new Transformers mobile offering, an action-packed fighting title called Transformers: Forged to Fight, came in the works around the time the 2017 film was released, in order to drive popularity for both.
Tying big film releases with big game releases is a clever tactic that allows franchises to reach even further and generate greater buzz. The film, despite its detractors, will likely soar in the charts – and many of those who will see it will be interested in gaming. Through the cross-promotional nature, and the ability to connect franchises in a multi-platform approach, Transformers’ reach can extend far and wide. For example, a Transformers slot game can be played on bet365 bingo, offering familiar to players themes from the Transformers universe. The game allows fans to get a 400% deposit bonus through WDW. By attracting fans of Transformers to a new platform of gaming, the franchise effect can work the other way – and attract those already gaming towards Transformers.
Transformers is a huge worldwide franchise, all borne out of the toys created by Hasbro in the 1980s. In order to capitalise on the success of the blockbuster movie releases, a game has generally always been released. We could begin with Traveller’s Tales’ 2007 release of a series of PC and home console games (PS2 and Xbox 360 back then), Savage Entertainment’s PSP version, and Vicarious Visions’ two games: Autobots following the protagonists, and Decepticons following the antagonists. However, the games received mixed to negative reviews. Despite positive reviews of the special effects but negative reviews of the plot and narrative, Transformers was the highest grossing non-sequel film of the year accruing $319,246,193. And the success of the franchise would only continue.
The sequel, 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen surpassed the initial film’s gross. The $16million it took on opening night (Wednesday at midnight) was the historical highest gross for that time and day. Grossing figures continued to surpass other records and commercially the film did very well. So a game would likely do just as well. The PS3 and Xbox offerings were reviewed as largely mixed-to-positive, while other platforms suffered from the changing gaming habits. For the Nintendo DS, much like the first film, the releases came in two separate games – one followed the Autobots and one the Decepticons. Fans, through clever gameplay, and a cleverer marketing strategy, were urged to purchase both games. It’s safe to say, the franchise was booming.
The final Shia LaBeouf Transformers vehicle, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, came out in 2011. The game featured four variations of gameplay. The Wii and 3DS versions differed to both the DS and Xbox and PS3 versions. Fans of gaming were therefore offered a wide variety of games in order to indulge in the Transformers franchise. By retaining the trademark yet assigning each game to a different developer, Hasbro were able to keep a firm grip on the game gross.
Overall, whether you’re a fan or not, Transformers is a behemoth of a franchise. The pulling power of customer interaction enables the films and games to continue to be made and continue to engage fans. The ability to promote across platforms also increases the connectivity of fans with the franchise. The fifth film may be titled The Last Knight, but it is very unlikely that it will be the last Transformers film.