Niantic Lays Off 8% of Employees, Cancels Four Projects

About 85-90 employees are being let go.

Niantic, the developer behind the mobile hit game Pokémon Go, is canceling several projects and laying off 8% of its employees which is said to be about 85-90 jobs.

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

The company said it is going to focus on its "most important priorities" which include Pokémon Go, several new projects, and the Lightship platform – Niantic's toolset for building the real-world metaverse. Meanwhile, among the canceled projects are TRANSFORMERS: Heavy Metal, a game that Niantic announced last year, Hamlet, a title being developed in partnership with Sleep No More creator Punchdrunk, and titles codenamed Blue Sky and Snowball.

According to Bloomberg which states to have obtained an internal letter, Niantic's CEO John Hanke said that the company was "facing a time of economic turmoil" and had to reduce costs "in a variety of areas."

Niantic hasn't yet been able to replicate the phenomenal success of 2016's Pokémon Go, the title that had over one billion downloads and generated a revenue of $1 billion per year. Earlier this year, the company shut down its AR game based on the Harry Potter franchise as well as a title based on the board game Catan. Pikmin Bloom, the game based on the Nintendo series, hasn't been successful either. 

However, Niantic is still working on new projects. Just recently, the company announced it is partnering with the National Basketball Association to create an AR NBA title, NBA All-World.

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