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Pokémon Go studio cancels projects and fires more than 80 employees

Pokémon Go studio cancels projects and fires more than 80 employees

Credit: Disclosure / Niantic

Niantic, the studio primarily responsible for Pokémon Go, is having a hard time finding its next big game. New information reveals that the studio has canceled several projects and laid off team members to “reduce and simplify” operations.

The San Francisco-based company has cut about 85 to 90 direct jobs and eliminated four games in development, including one transformers Announced in 2021 called heavy metalaccording to a Bloomberg report earlier today.

Transformers: Heavy Metal Beta

Niantic is facing a turbulent time, according to the company’s CEO

Bloomberg reports that an email Niantic CEO John Hanke sent to the team states that the company ‘I was having an economically turbulent time’ And that after cutting costs, Niantic will still need “Further downgrading our operations to better position us in the face of future economic storms”

The other three canceled games had names like the sky is blue And the snowballin addition to a game called villagewhich will be a studio collaboration with a theater company called PunchDrunk.

Niantic had a huge hit in 2016 with the release of Pokémon Go, but since then, it hasn’t been able to replicate that success in any other title. In 2019 the studio released Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, which did not have a huge player base and was discontinued earlier this year. The studio has even released games based on picmin And the Kattanwhich also failed.

The Kotaku website contacted a Niantic representative who confirmed the information regarding the layoffs, as well as to reinforce that support for Pokémon Go will continue.

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“We have recently decided to stop production on some projects and reduce our workforce by about 80% to focus on our main priorities,” Niantic said. “We are grateful for the contribution from those who have left Niantic, and we will be here to support them during this difficult transition.”

The studio also told Kotaku that this change will help Niantic focus “new experiences” Is that “We will continue to invest in the future of augmented reality.”.

Personally, I don’t see how an 80% headcount reduction would bring any kind of growth to the company, and usually the opposite. Who knows how long Pokémon Go will be enough to pay Niantic’s bills, but mass layoffs are never a good sign.