Searching for Lost Bots: Hasbro's Hunt For Forgotten Transformers Games
- Aug 02, 2023
In a surprising revelation, American multinational Hasbro has hinted at a possible obstacle preventing the resurgence of old Transformers games: a puzzling loss of source codes by gaming behemoth Activision Blizzard. This predicament came to light during a Q&A session at this year's San Diego ComicCon, where a representative from Hasbro discussed the company's plans for the future of the iconic franchise — including possible video game re-releases.
The storyline for these transformations took a turn in 2018 when Hasbro's licensing agreement with Activision Blizzard came to an end. Transformers games such as 'Transformers: Fall of Cybertron,' 'Devastation,' and 'Rise of the Dark Spark,' were correspondingly removed from digital marketplaces like Steam. The Activision-produced "Devastation," the standout of all the games, featuring a brilliant transforming scheme, is notably missed.
As Hasbro looks to revive these games coupled with their 'Gamer Edition' toyline, they have encountered an unexpected challenge. Activision Blizzard, despite being one of the leading game publishers globally, seems to have misplaced the source code of these games. In a shocking disclosure, the Hasbro spokesperson stated, "Sadly, apparently Activision’s not sure what hard drives they’re on in their building."
The loss appears to have impacted the Hasbro team, as they struggled to reproduce the accurate designs for the Gamer Edition toyline. Without exact color references from the actual games, the development team had to resort to firing up old gaming platforms and personally extracting the necessary game assets — an unprecedented, labor-intensive method. This retrieval process may even extend to game titles produced under Activision's Transformers license from 2006-2017, including semi-original takes and movie tie-ins totaling up to around ten games.
The situation has shed light on the seemingly haphazard archiving system at Activision. Losing the original data of these games is not just a hurdle in their re-release but also a noteworthy observation of how a mammoth publisher like Activision manages its licensed works. Despite this odd setback, the fact that Hasbro is dedicated to leafing through 'every hard drive' to bring these games back is a testament to the company's commitment to the Transformers franchise and its fans worldwide.