The appeal of the Transformers franchise, said Daniel Tibbets, is that it spans multiple generations.
“It’s a 35-year-old franchise,” said Tibbets, chief creative officer with Machinima. “You have both parents and kids who are huge fans of a single brand.”
That’s why he said it’s fitting that the gaming-centric MCN has formed a new partnership with toy giant Hasbro that will see the two brands launch an original series based on the Transformers.
The branded-content series will launch as part of Hasbro’s campaign to promote its “Combiner Wars” series of Transformer action figures. The Combiner Wars figures, when combined with one another, are designed to form a larger fighting robot.
According to Tibbets, it was reps from Hasbro who approached Machinima with the deal. Tibbets believed that Habsro was attracted to the broad appeal of Machinima — which, according to Tibbets, reaches far beyond teen-aged males.
“A lot of people think, ‘Oh, Machinima, they’re for young males,'” he said. “68% of our viewers are actually in the 18 to 49 range.” He also said that the female audience of Machinima is close to 40%.
Though the two brands are still in the early stages of planning the series, Tibbets said that they are aiming to release the series in the first or second quarter of 2016, with around eight to 10 episodes running eight to 10 minutes each. Content will be rolled out across multiple platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat.
Transformers: Combiner Wars will also introduce new characters and bring back franchise favorites, such as Wingblade and Megatron.
This is just one of several high-profile series launches for the MCN in the summer of 2015. It recently released the trailer for the upcoming series Gods and Monsters, and unveiled the History Channel-spoofing series Real Fake History.
That kind of comic, action and sci-fi focused content is what has helped Machinima carve out such a large fan base — and Tibbets believes that calling that a niche is a mistake.
“There is no longer ‘the geek market,'” he said. “It’s the new pop culture.”