After less than a year online, Jagex has announced the closure of Transformers Universe, their MOBA-esque online experience based within the Hasbro toy property. Current players of the game will be able to keep going until January 31, 2015, when the servers will be shut down for good.
The good news is that those who invested in Transformers Universe will have all or part of their money refunded. Those who purchased a Founders Pack, relic bundles, or a starter pack will see some or part of their money returned within 30 days, and those who don't are urged to contact the Jagex team.
Since the free-to-play game never actually had an official “debut,” it's hard to say how much was lost with Transformers Universe. Obviously the folks at Jagex put years of work into the game, but the experiment simply didn't get the reception they hoped.
For those who might not have followed the game, Transformers Universe was developed as a PvP and PvE shooter with some open world elements. At one time, the game was a fully fledged MMO, but eventually Jagex tweaked the concept to accommodate a wider player base. But really the main draw of the game was a chance to fight alongside the major icons of the Transformers brand.
While MMO closures are nothing new for gamers, when a game closes down so soon it's no less shocking. Unfortunately for Transformers Universe, the lack of quality gameplay and a deep MMO experience held the game back from being anything but a casual distraction. When we tried the game out in open beta, content was thin and what we hoped the game might be and what it actually was were not one in the same.
The game was also one of the more egregious examples of free-to-play games gone bad, in that it required a ton of grinding to earn the more intriguing Transformer characters. Or, players could simply skip ahead by paying real money, which should be mostly refunded in the coming month.
Still, there were people who enjoyed Transformers Universe and they unfortunately only have a few more weeks with the game before it disappears. Chances are, though, Hasbro has plans for new Transformers games in the future, hopefully ones that are more like Fall of Cybertron.
Are you sad to see Transformers Universe close down? How would you have imagined a Transformers MMO?
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