Hasbro and Activision’s publishing contract recently expired, and in result Activision had to pull the digital stock of their Transformers titles for PC and home console. Transformer World picked up the news from IGN, who managed to get a brief explanation from a Hasbro representative who stated that the contract expired.
A lot of gamers were confused initially because games like Transformers: Devastation, Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron simply up and disappeared from digital distribution outlets, including Steam, Greenman Gaming, The PlayStation Store and the Xbox Store.
Activision made no announcements, and Hasbro was a silent Sam.
However, it didn’t take long for most gamers to piece together what happened given that the exact same scenario happened before with a variety of Marvel’s titles when they, too, were pulled off digital storefronts following the Disney buyout. Publishing and distribution contracts obviously had to be renegotiated before games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance could be purchased again from digital storefronts.
Activision and EA also went through a similar situation with the 007: James Bond games, where the digital titles were pulled offline once the distribution deal with MGM expired, which is why you can’t buy any of the 007 games on Steam anymore.
As pointed out in the Transformer World article and the IGN piece, we don’t know if Hasbro and Activision will work out a new deal or if another publisher will step in and pick up the license to make Transformers video games. Given that Hasbro was coy about the topic when asked by IGN about the status, it stands to reason that there could be a renegotiation process in effect.
As pointed out by IGN, the mobile game from Kabam, Transformers: Forged to Fight, is still available. So it’s likely that just the contract between Hasbro and Activision has expired.
The good part is that you can still pick up pre-owned physical copies of some of the Transformers games from places like Amazon and GameStop.
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