Paramount rolls out first AR game for 'Transformers' DVD release
- Paramount’s home media division debuted its first augmented reality (AR) app to promote this fall's DVD release of “Transformers: The Last Knight,” the fifth installment of the live-action series based on the Hasbro toys, per a press release.
- Created by Viacom NEXT, the virtual reality division of Paramount’s parent company Viacom, through Apple's ARKit platform, the iOS app immerses players in a virtual junkyard where they can control the robot character Bumblebee's movements while hitting, blowing up and interacting with various objects.
- The Transformers game is free to download from the App Store until Feb. 20. Fans can also order the 4K HDR version of the movie through the app.
Just in time for the holiday season, Paramount is including an AR app as part of its promotion for the DVD release of the latest “Transformers” film. The new mobile game provides the production studio another way to build on public recognition of the Transformers movies, and to reach younger audiences who are generally cutting back on other media like TV in favor of mobile devices. Its release ultimately hopes to boost buzz around the Transformers movie collection box, which includes all five films, released on Nov. 21 ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Paramount is among the film and TV studios that are using Apple’s ARKit platform to create specialized AR content. Warner Bros. Interactive and its Portkey Games studio are planning to release an AR game next year called “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” that will resemble Pokemon Go in letting mobile users explore a virtual world that overlays their real surroundings. AMC Networks introduced a game based on its “Walking Dead” series that lets players fight virtual zombies.
While the International Data Corporation estimates that total spending on AR and VR products will jump from $11.4 billion this year to about $215 billion in four years, retailers have been somewhat slow to embrace the technology until it shows demonstrable results, as developing the tech is costly and time intensive.