A while ago, Activision had the rights to develop and publish games based on Hasbro’s Transformers toy series. From 2007 to 2015, the publisher released quite a few games based on the “robots in disguise” franchise, and some of them were actually pretty well done, including Fall of Cybertron and Transformers: Devastation.
Unfortunately, Activision lost the rights to the Transformer games in 2017, and they have been removed from digital marketplaces. People who own some of the physical Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of these games can still play them on the Xbox Series X and S consoles via backward compatibility.
Now it looks like Hasbro would love to see these older Activision games come back in a bigger way and that the possible purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft could be the way to make that happen.
In an interview with the fan site Transformer World 2005 that was conducted at July’s San Diego ComicCon, an unnamed Hasbro representative is quoted as saying:
Sadly, apparently Activision’s not sure what hard drives they’re on in their building. When a company eats a company that eats a company things get lost, and that’s very frustrating. Hope is that now that the deal is moving forward with Microsoft and Xbox that they’ll go through all of the archives and every hard drive to find it all, because it’s an easy Game Pass add. We want those games back up for people to have a chance to play.
That would seem to indicate that while Activision technically no longer has the rights to make Transformers games, it looks like Hasbro wants all those older games to be available again to a wider audience. It’s possible Hasbro could take over the publishing of those games themselves.
In the meantime, there is actually an all-new Transformers game in the works for the PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms. Announced in December 2022, the game is called Transformers: Reactivate, and it’s being developed by Splash Damage, who ironically have contributed to the development of Microsoft games like Gears of War 4 and Gears 5, and completely developed the spin-off game Gears: Tactics. There’s no release date yet for Transformers: Reactivate.