Niantic, the developer of the mobile game Pokemón Go, announced the layoff of around 90 employees. Four new projects were also dropped
According to the company’s CEO, John Hanke, the decision is a reflection of the “economic turmoil” that the company is going through, and for that, it is necessary to “simplify” internal operations to face the current scenario. In addition to the layoffs, four projects were cancelled.
“We recently decided to stop production on some projects and reduce our workforce by around 8% to focus on our top priorities as well as the Lightship platform,” Vice President of Communications Jonny Thaw told Bloomberg. .
The augmented reality game company has struggled to repeat the worldwide success achieved with Pokémon Go in 2016. For that, it intends to focus on its main products. “This means we can focus on our highest priorities, including Pokémon Go and a curated set of new experiences,” added Thaw.
Founded in 2010 in San Francisco, California, Niantic is known for developing AR games. Based on geolocation data, the cell phone screen shows game information applied to day-to-day reality.
The formula worked with Pokémon Go, which distributed the creatures from the Nintendo franchise in real parks, streets and squares. But it wasn’t enough to save other games, like Harry Potter: Wizard Unite and Catan: World Explorers. Both have been discontinued.
The projects shelved are Heavy Metal, a Transformers game announced in 2021; Hamlet, in partnership with the Punchdrunk theater company; and the Blue Sky and Snowball titles.
The company is now working on the new Peridot game and the recently announced NBA All-World, in partnership with the traditional US basketball league. She also The company will launch an app for Pokémon Go players to chat with each other.
*With information from Engadget and The Verge.