Jagex, the Cambridge, UK-based studio behind such browser-based games as RuneScape, is bringing the metal-on-metal war of Transformers to web browsers with an upcoming free-to-play MMO, Transformers Universe. Last night, I attended a Hasbro press event in New York, during which the Jagex folks ran a brand-new trailer for the game. The video featured various Transformers doing Transformer-y things like, well, transforming and brawling, and was designed to show off the game's art direction. (You can see 12 stills from the trailer in the gallery below.)
According to Jagex, the Transformer models in the trailer are in-game assets, although I have doubts that a browser-based MMO is going to look quite like that. Transformers Universe resembles DC Universe Online in that players will create custom Transformers, and encounter well-known Transformers characters (Bumblebee, Megatron, etc.) in the, um, universe. Jagex is drawing upon the Transformers: Prime animated series in designing the game, which will feature both PvP and PvE situations. A beta is currently slated for early 2012.
I would love to give you more information on Transformers Universe, but I literally can't, since nearly every question that I and the other journalists in the room asked was met with an answer that began with the phrase, "I can't tell you..."
However, if the images here pique your interest, you can visit the Transformers Universe booth (#522) at New York Comic Con this weekend to see more. The Jagex team has put together a fun experience for visitors, who will be able to see the trailer I watched last night, as well as customize their own Transformer and get a photo taken with their creation, and pledge allegiance to the Autobots or the Decepticons.
In addition, Jagex is allowing fans to vote on the names (or submit their own names) for the Autobot and Decepticon factions in one of the game's classes. Voting will take place at the booth on the show floor, as well as on the Transformers Universe Facebook page. But if that's not enough Transformers Universe action for you, Jagex is holding a panel on Friday, October 14, from 7:45 PM to 8:45 PM.
You can view the second teaser trailer for the game below.