When the Autobots first assembled in 1984 and began their onslaught on the mainstream media, the entertainment industry looked very different than it does today. Despite the fact that the toys dominated our view of the brand for most of our childhood, with the G1 cartoon and Marvel UK comics for support, there’s no getting away from the fact that things have changed vastly since then and both for us and fans who are new to the franchise it’s not quite what it used to be… Although the usual suspects such as TV, movies and comic books are all still popular, new mediums such as the internet and mobile platforms have given rise to new opportunities for our sci-fi heroes.
After Generation 1 (1984 to 1993), many of our beloved characters gave way to Generation 2’s batch of storylines, and over time the movies became the king of the franchise ahead of toys, TV shows and comic books or at least in the eyes of the wider public at large. No matter what we think of him, after 2007 when director Michael Bay worked alongside Steven Spielberg to direct the first in a new series of Transformers movies it’s altered Transformers in ways we couldn’t have imagined and while we may not be happy with all of the changes, the brand has never been as popular.
Buoyed by the success of the first movie, the Transformers have appeared on the silver screen a further three times with a fifth (The Last Knight) scheduled for release in 2017. Naturally, as is often the case with sci-fi creations that transfer to movie theatres, Transformers has grossed a huge amount of money, £3,110,386,604 to be precise, and that’s kept the franchise alive.
There’s More to a Franchise than Movies
However, as we’ve said, today’s technology means that sci-fi characters can now live well beyond their original incarnations. According to the stats, gaming is now a bigger revenue generator than movies and part of that success is thanks to sci-fi franchises like Transformers. Indeed, with the gaming industry as a whole worth around £83 billion ($101 million), you’ll now find games of all shapes and sizes in the mix.
The Transformers franchise is no different and since 1985 our favorite bots have lent their name to all manner of offerings. From the very first Transformers video game released by Ocean Software back in 1985 for the Commodore 64 and Spectrum to Edge of Reality’s third-person shooter, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, robot fans have had plenty of ways to play with their favourite characters.
But, as extensive as this gaming history is, there could still be more chapters written in the coming years. Although the Transformers: The Last Knight will rejuvenate the franchise’s movie credentials, there are plenty of additional opportunities in the online betting industry. For the last decade, TV and movie franchises have been partnering with software developers to release themed slot machines.
Both official and inspired products, these slots have not only become revenue generators in their own right, but they’ve helped take franchises to a new level of popularity. For example, the Incredible Hulk is one of the top progressive slots in the business, while Deep Sea Danger at Vegascasino.io has been given a four-star rating thanks to its Jaws-inspired design. In fact, on top of traditional betting options, Transformers could also take advantage of Bitcoin betting. The cryptocurrency is the sole option for betting on certain forward-looking sites such as the one above, where all transactions, including their generous sign up and reload bonuses, are done in Bitcoin.
Embracing New Technology will Keep the Transformers Alive
Deep Sea Danger what’s known as a Bitcoin slot. This basically means that each spin is powered by the virtual currency, rather than pounds or Euros. Why would a Bitcoin slot specifically help the Transformers franchise? Well, aside from the added anonymity and security of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are a hot topic in the tech world and any fans of sci-fi robots are likely to be fans of modern technology. Therefore, in the spirit of innovation (just like the Transformers), a game in this guise would work extremely well.
Of course, casino games aren’t the only avenue Transformers as a franchise could explore. Virtual reality is set to be worth almost £100 billion by 2020, which means there should be plenty of scope to create a 3D experience. Whether this virtual offering takes the form of a movie, simulator or interactive computer game is up for debate, but the opportunities are certainly there. Indeed, by combining the likes of Oculus Rift, Leap 3D controllers and even biofeedback sensors, Transformers could literally come to life in front of a fan’s very eyes.
While a Transformers MMORPGs has been tried already courtesy of UK developers/publishers Jagex which sadly failed to leave the Beta stage (Transformers Universe), this again could be a perfect opportunity for a return to the genre for the brand. The potential for a new publisher to enter the market but not only combine the world of Transformers but potentially bringing with it the addition of VR technology to the table as well could be the technological leap that the MMORPG genre is waiting for. Transformers could well be the franchise to take this type of gaming to the next level…
Essentially, when you break it down, there are plenty of ways to keep the Transformers fighting for many years to come. Although some of the old entertainment mediums are still valid, technology has shown us that much more is possible and that could mean we’ve got some exciting innovations to look forward to in the coming years.
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
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