Niantic Lays Off Staff and Cancels Projects
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The company behind Pokémon Go has to cut costs to make ends meet. Some six years after ‘Pokémon Go’, the company behind the augmented reality game is struggling to match that success.

 

Niantic would lay off about eighty employees, according to Bloomberg, and also scrap four projects that are still in the making. In an email to his staff, CEO John Hanke writes that the company is entering “a time of economic turmoil,” Bloomberg reports. And so there is a need to save on costs.

“We’ve decided to stop some projects and reduce our workforce by 8 percent to focus on key priorities,” said Jonny Thaw, VP of Communications at Niantic, in a statement to tech site The Verge.

You may know Niantic as the company behind Pokémon Go, a mobile game that in 2016 persuaded hordes of people to get out and about while also making the concept of augmented reality widely known. In the game, you capture virtual monsters that are placed in the real world around you. The game was a real hype and managed to raise five billion dollars in five years. But that success does not last, and also proves difficult to repeat. More recently, for example, Niantic launched

also ‘Pikmin Bloom’, where you walk around with virtual Pikmin and grow flowers, and ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’, which is set in the Harry Potter world. Neither of the two games managed to match the financial heights of their predecessor.

The projects that Niantic is now cancelling include ‘Transformers, Heavy Metal’, an AR game based on the robot franchise of the same name. According to Bloomberg, two other announced projects, ‘NBA All-World’ around basketball stars, and ‘Peridot’, a virtual pet game, would still be launched.

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