The fact that this is an easy way of generating content has nothing to do with it, I assure you.
Despite how it may appear, I have a serious question for you regarding the Transformers. To whit: why do the Autobots and Decepticons hate each other?
Being a child of the Cold War, I completely understand why GI Joe are the good guys and why Cobra are the bad. Heck, I even understand why He-Man and Skeletor hate each other. But I don't get why two very scientifically advanced races of sentient robots want to destroy each other.
Now I freely confess that my knowledge of Transfandom is lacking. As a girl, I watched the cartoons on weekday afternoons, but I never saw the movie, and so when the series "jumped" from present day with Optimus to the future with a bunch of retards I'd never heard of, well... I stopped watching, and never really had the urge to get back into the fandom after that.
My initial inclination is to assume that "Autobot" and "Decepticon" are basically militant ideologies; give the Republicans and the Democrats energy weapons and they're almost as likely to start shooting at each other during a session of congress.
But then I realized, there seems to be no political drive to either of these groups. The Decepticons, when they aren't fighting the Autobots for no real tactical gain, seem to engage in what amounts to piracy: stealing energy and other natural resources to either construct new 'cons or escape Earth. The 'bots, on the other hand, tend to just sit around chillaxin' in the Ark, until and unless there is some Decepticon plot that needs thwarting.
So is it a subtle satire? Are the Decepticons slash-and-burn developers intent on raping the land? Are the Autobots eco-friendly stoners?
And if they are, why for Eris' sake are we being taught a lesson in ecology and Gaia reverence by ROBOTS?
As I said, I am perplexed. I would appreciate you addressing this at some point during your Transformers week.
In fact, if ANYONE would like to answer this question, I'd appreciate it. I mean, I get the whole "good vs evil" thing, of course, but there has to be SOME kind of flimsy rationalization for the Autobot-Decepticon conflict. Right? They were at war on Cybertron before they ended up on Earth, yes?
I don't care how patently absurd the answer is, I just want to know their motivations. Ridiculously in-depth socio-political analyses that go far beyond the scope of the original series are more than welcome.