Matt Tieger of High Moon claims he “fought” for the Dinobots; disregards reality
In 2010, Hasbro released a pretty damn cool Transformers toy. It was Masterpiece Grimlock; a figure long-time American fans had been waiting for ever since the Masterpiece toyline became a reality. It was highly articulated, detailed, and yet a lot of fun. This toy came hot off the heels of the Dinobots appearance in the cartoon series Transformers Animated (with three toys to match), and preceded a combiner team called the Dinobots in 2011 as part of the Power Core Combiners toyline. This doesn’t appear to be the end of the Dinobots, as they’re set to appear in the Fall of Cybertron video game, and the team behind the new cartoon series Transformers: Prime plans to include the Dinobots at some point. It’s clear from all this that Hasbro still wants to keep the Dinobots around, even if they’re not at the forefront.
But Matt Tieger, the director of the two High Moon Studios-developed Transformers games has a different story. In an interview with The Verge’s Polygon, Tieger talks about how Hasbro shut down his initial plans for Grimlock to appear in Fall of Cybertron. Paraphrased by Tieger, Hasbro said “That sounds really exciting — to you — but for us, it doesn’t really work.” Sounds pretty simple, right? Earth dinosaurs on an alien planet needs some explanation, otherwise it’ll tip the melting pot of insanity that is the Transformers canon over the edge. That’s not starting a fight. That’s asking the guy directing the game based on your property to follow the rules of the world in which the game is set. Tieger shot himself in the foot when he goes on to quote Hasbro as saying “This means something to you. This matters to you and we get what you’re trying to do. So let’s see if we can work it out. We don’t see how it can work, but maybe we can figure it out together. We can keep [the Dinobots] … and maybe we’ll turn it around.” The short version is that Hasbro was willing to use the Dinobots and just wanted a tighter origin story, so Tieger complied. Does that sound like a fight to you?
Hell, Tieger (or at least the article) makes it seem as if he alone came up with the eventual compromise of Shockwave creating the Dinobots. A direct quote from the interview even says “and we came up with this idea … Shockwave made the Dinobots.” For the uninitiated, Shockwave is tied up with the Dinobot’s creation in the Transformers comics. Sure, the exact details have been slightly changed, but the idea obviously comes from this piece of Transformers fiction and Tieger makes no mention of this. He mentions comics and the lore, but the article makes it seem as if he’s just seeing a vague connection between Shockwave and the Dinobots. It legitimately annoys me when developers try to act as the champion of the people when it’s obvious that they’re talking almost completely out of their ass. Just talk to your consumers straight, and they’ll respect you in turn.
(If you’re a big High Moon fan, I guess you can cling to the fact that everything stated here is the fault of the original article itself, but consider this: if Tieger gave humble answers during the interview, don’t you think the article would’ve reflected that?)