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Meta4 Interactive and Hasbro are launching Transformers: Beyond Reality, a new arcade-style virtual reality shooter game on September 1 on the PlayStation VR.
The exclusive PSVR title comes from the Montreal-based Meta4 Interactive studio, which received funding from the Canada Media Fund. It partnered with Hasbro to enable players to step into the giant shape-shifting robots in the universe of Autobots and Decepticons.
The single-player VR game features a full campaign, hours of gameplay and some of the franchise’s favorite Transformers characters including Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Starscream, Soundwave, and Megatron among others.
In Transformers: Beyond Reality, the Decepticons have discovered Synthetic Dark Energon and plan to use its corrupting power to take over their home planet Cybertron — destroying Earth in the process. Players will join the Autobots as one of the first human recruits, using incredible Cybertronian-based tech in the fight to defeat the Decepticons and save both Earth and Cybertron.
Playstation VR allows players to fully appreciate the immense size of their Cybertronian allies and enemies, and immerse themselves in the exciting and multigenerational appeal of the Transformers universe.
“Transformers is a huge part of many people’s childhoods and we couldn’t be more excited to bring this pulse-pounding VR title to fans and introduce new players to this thrilling world”, said Alfredo Chaves, executive producer at Meta4 Interactive, in a statement. “Plus, the VR element means the player is a real part of the action for the first time in a Transformers game. The sense of scale is especially formidable and we know long-time fans will be particularly excited about it.”
This title will mark Meta4’s third VR game set in the Transformers universe after previously launching Transformers: VR Battle Arena and Transformers: VR Invasion found in arcade venues around the world. While those titles are meant as shorter venue-based experiences, the home-based game will give players the opportunity to more fully explore and enjoy the Transformers universe.
Founded in 2010 as Minority Media — now Meta4 Interactive — is an international game studio known for its innovative VR games for home and location-based entertainment (LBE) venues. The studio has developed home titles including the celebrated Papo & Yo (2013), Loco Motors (2014) and Time Machine VR (2016).
Since 2017, the company has also pioneered small-footprint multiplayer VR arenas, which have been installed by entertainment venue operators around the world, including at family entertainment centers across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Middle East.
The Meta4 team has 16 people with mix of seasoned VR developers, game designers, programmers, 3D artists, animators, audio designers, technical artists, and QA. One common thread between is that they all have a deep love for VR as a medium and the possibilities it brings, the company said.
Asked how the company came to work on Transformers, the company said in an email to GamesBeat, “Most of us here have had the privilege of working on Transformers VR games for Location Based Entertainment venues and we learned a lot in the process. Lots of lessons in what works and what doesn’t. One of the most important lessons seems counter-intuitive: we learned that ‘being’ a Transformer, although very cool, didn’t actually convey the sense of scale of being a gigantic robot. It was way more impressive in VR to be human-scale and stand next to a towering Autobot. That realization became the seed at the core of this game – playing as a human ally to the Autobots.”
They added, “All of us grew up as fans of Transformers and for many of us that shaped our interest in technology, and why we do what we do today. So the key question became: ‘What story about my favorite robots would my 7-year-old former self miss experiencing?’ That led to working on our own story branch, set in the lore that we love, with great respect to the rich history of the brand.”
And as arcade veterans, they also loved working on the location-based Transformers games for arcades around the world.
“For our at-home game, we wanted to combine that nostalgia for arcade-style gameplay with Transformers in a medium that would let us relive our childhoods: VR,” the company said.
The project has taken roughly two years.
“We tried many avenues and learned about what we think makes for a great VR experience involving Transformers. As the seeds of the game come from that strong sense of nostalgia along with the LBE world, we kept that core arcade DNA,” the company said.
As for the Sony exclusive, Meta4 said it has a really strong relationship with Sony and they decided to make Transformers: Beyond Reality exclusive to PSVR for now.