LONDON -- Sega Amusements reports that its new Transformers--Human Alliance videogame is now shipping. Based on the popular "Transformers" motion pictures, the two-player game is available in two configurations. It made its debut at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' trade show in Orlando, FL, heralded by a high-visibility launch at the Dave and Buster's restaurant and arcade in Orlando.
The game is being produced in 42" deluxe and 55" theater configurations. The deluxe version is an upright design with fixed-position blasters; it measures 42" wide by 46" deep and stands 90" high. The "environmental" theater model is a sit-down game, featuring LED accent lighting and an eye-catching Bumblebee head. It measures 64" wide by 100" deep by 95" high.
Both versions challenge the players to team up with one of the three leaders of the virtuous Autobots (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee or Sideswipe) and campaign across America, Africa and Europe destroying the evil Decepticons.
The Dave and Buster's premiere, held in a venue popular with amusement industry showgoers, was a great success, according to Sega Amusements general manager Peter Gustafson. It took a good deal of planning, he explained, but showcased Sega's capabilities for effective fun center design.
"With Transformers, we wanted to create awareness that went well beyond simply placing the game on a trade show floor and hoping people played it," Gustafson said. "We wanted our promotion to have an impact, to 'cause the pause.'"
Sega called the management team at Dave and Buster's to propose using the restaurant on Orlando's International Drive as a backdrop to promote the launch of Transformers--Human Alliance. The D&B's management team liked the idea, Gustafson reported, but insisted that whatever styling Sega implemented had to complement the location, not detract from it.
"The Dave and Buster's on I Drive is a unique location in that the entire entertainment area is on the second floor," Gustafson reported. "When looking at the location, we immediately recognized the two-story atrium -- which can be seen from I Drive -- as the perfect canvas to create the kind of impact promotion we were hoping to achieve."
In particular, the entry stairway, a floating structure with transilluminated glass risers, offered the visual spectacle suitable to the purpose. Sega affixed a matrix of 80 decals to the risers to produce a three-dimensional effect. "It delivered the big impression and impact we were looking for," the Sega executive said, and it conformed to the wishes of Dave and Buster's management.
To reinforce the effect of the stair art, Sega created a five-foot-tall point-of-sale Transformers "standee." This colorful cylindrical display proved so effective that Sega decided to ship a free one with each Transformers game. "It's an attractive promotional element that lets your guests know Transformers is here," concluded Gustafson.
After getting off to a fast start with the Dave and Buster's spectacle, Sega Amusements went on to have a very successful IAAPA Attractions Expo. "At this year's show, the goal was to showcase our ability to deliver a complete entertainment center solution encompassing outstanding product, over-the-top promotions, top-of-the-line merchandise and turnkey services to take your dream from vision to reality," said Sega president and chief operating officer Paul Williams. "The presentation of our stand which included a 17-ft. tall Optimus Prime statue on one side and a full-sized façade of a house including a front lawn straight from the world of Plants vs. Zombies on the other delivered on this goal."
In addition to Transformers and Plants vs. Zombies (a ticket redemption game challenging the player to throw back an invasion of zombies by firing peas at them), Sega unveiled five more titles. Introduced at the IAAPA show were two new driving games, Storm Racers and Storm Riders; two new prize vending games, Prize Locker and Axe Master; and a new mechanical ticket redemption game, Snakes n Ladders.
"This was the best IAAPA show we've had in several years," Williams summed up. To address the demand for the new Transformers game, Sega has ramped up manufacture on both sides of the Atlantic. "We've got factories in the U.S. and UK producing Transformers, so we're able to service the needs of our markets as quickly and economically as possible," he said. "Our distributors will find a ready supply of product available to meet what is sure to be very high demand for an extraordinary title."