Transformers is an amazing franchise. I don’t like what IDW did with it but that’s personal taste. I don’t like what Simon Furman did with it but that’s just good taste. I don’t like what Michael Bay did with it but that’s just common sense. While the franchise has had it’s missteps most of it is pretty darn good and for media meant to promote a great toyline it’s done far better than it should have. It basically brought the idea of transforming robots to the world outside Japan.
Many of those missteps have been in the video game world. As far back as the 80s you had a lackluster Famicom game that never received a translation for the NES and nobody really feels like they missed out. The games have been fair to terrible throughout the franchise except in one area: War For Cybertron and the sequel series Fall Of Cybertron, the only part of the “aligned continuity” that actually followed the playbook. Other games were produced set in this time period, like the Wii rail shooter Cybertron Adventures but these two games were loved by fans. Having played through most of War For Cybertron before getting stuck half-way through the Autobot campaign and not having time to finish it I have to agree. It was quite good.
While High Moon Studios was nailing it hard, Activision was also producing games set in the Bayverse movies and they were not doing so well, as movie tie-in games tend to do. There are a lot of reasons why and plenty of blame to throw around but we won’t get into that here. So naturally Activision would give High Moon enough money to hire more people, train them in what made the studio successful with the aligned games (or “Cybertron” games, as the video below calls them), and put them to work on the movieverse game while continuing the franchise that was so successful and beloved by the franchises fans. Activision apparently doesn’t do the natural thing. They’d rather make things harder for a studio, and when the studio underperforms due to Activision’s incompetence is shut down by Activision rather than fixing the problem. Considering their origins that’s really terrible.
In the following video by Matt McMuscles we learn of the events that led to Rise Of The Dark Spark, a rather badly named video game if you ask me, created by Edge Of Reality which somehow combined the movie and aligned continuities (I haven’t played the game so I couldn’t tell you how, though a Transformers multiverse is canon). The game did not do as well. It’s a lame idea but what’s worse is what led to up to it and how Activision CEO Bobby Kotick (or at least the video gives him the blame) made decisions that ruined something that was successful. Note that there is swearing in this video.
Catch more Matt McMuscle’s various series on his YouTube channel.
I’ve seen Devastation played by TJOmega and it looks like a rather good game. I’ve also done a Saturday Night Showcase around the Transformers Armada game and it looks okay to play but not the best story. At least it’s better use of the Mini-Cons than just an alleged power boost we don’t see much evidence of otherwise. I’m not sure why they thought a Deadpool game would be better than continuing the “Cybertron” side of the aligned continuity when the movie was nowhere in sight at the time. It’s really a shame because this series deserved better.