War for Cybertron and Hasbro = BFFs

Transformers: War for Cybertron is a game based on a TV show based on toys. Hasbro, the franchise creator, loved War for Cybertron so much that it has adopted the game as official canon, and has also commissioned a set of toys for the game. So, soon there will be toys based on a game based on a TV show based on toys. Is that too meta for you?

“I’m a big transformers fan, liked them since I was a little kid,” explains director Matt Tieger. “And when we started it was not on the cards for Hasbro to create toys from our designs. We didn’t even really ask them about it, we didn’t dare think they’d even consider it. It was another one of those things where Hasbro got so behind the project that it’s something they really wanted to do. It’s a good thing because if we’d known it from the get-go it might have affected the way we did things and the choices that it made.

“It’s an interesting thing, you did a good job of explaining it — a game based on toys that have toys based on the game — a circular pedigree there. All I can say is that I’m incredibly proud that they loved the design so much to put a series of toys behind it. It was a really happy day in the studio when we could tell the team that that’s what they were doing.”

It’s cool to see that Hasbro is so behind the game, but how did it come to pass that the toymaker adopted War for Cybertron as the official backstory for Transformers? Hit the jump as Tieger explains. 


“That was not the beginning point for us,” Tieger tells us. “Transformers is a really intimidating property, there are over two decades of fiction, all over the place. We really tried to find our own home within that and we applied that to the G1 cartoon from 1984. We created our story starting from that as we continued to work on it, refine it, tell the stories that we wanted to tell, draw elements from other parts of the Transformers universe, Hasbro really started to take notice that we were treating their property with such love, and it coincided with them wanting to re-center the Transformers property at the time.

“The original setup for us was to create a really great story on Cybertron and tell our version of their backstory and as they evolved it really coincided with something Hasbro wanted to do and we talked about it all the time and it kind of evolved into an official backstory.”

So, that is how that thing happened. It’s so odd to think that a humble game is now being applied as a prequel story to over two decades of fiction, but it’s also pretty damn cool, and demonstrates just how far games have come as a medium.

Jim Sterling