Pokemon Go creator Niantic cancels several projects and cuts staff

Cuts at Pokemon Go company Niantic

The augmented reality developer is cutting back

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Niantic, the company behind 2016’s massively successful Pokemon Go, is cutting back. A new report reveals the company is cancelling several projects and cutting jobs.

Bloomberg reports that four Niantic projects have been canceled, including its Transformers game and a collaboration with Sleep No More company Punchdrunk. It’s also reportedly set to cut “about 85 to 90” jobs.

Niantic hit huge success with Pokemon Go, the augmented reality game that turned into a summer craze for the ages. Pokemon Go still garners a massive following nearly six years later. Sensor Tower reports that Pokemon Go has now surpassed $6 billion in global lifetime spending, across the App Store and Google Play Store.

The success hasn’t transferred over to every subsequent project, though. Niantic shuttered Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in January, and while Pikmin Bloom is pretty neat, it’s also seemingly struggled to bottle the PokeGo lightning.

Walking around the block

In an email to staff seen by Bloomberg, Niantic CEO John Hanke reportedly wrote the company was “facing a time of economic turmoil” and needs to further streamline its operations, to weather any “economic storms” ahead.

“We recently decided to stop production on some projects and reduce our workforce by about 8% to focus on our key priorities,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg. “We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we are supporting them through this difficult transition.”

The company did recently reveal a new mobile game, called NBA All-World. It’s a sports game intended to blend the real world with one-on-one basketball, as well as collecting and fashion. It also has Peridot, another real-world game featuring pet-like creatures, in development. We’ll see if these projects can help bring Niantic further out of the storm.

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Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.
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