Pokémon Go studio lays off staff and closes projects

A close-up photo of the phone's screen shows the Niantic logo.

A photo: Rafael Enrique / SOPA Images / LightRocket (Getty Images)

Mobile games company behind pokemon go, Niantic is struggling to find its next big hit. And now, a new report claims the studio has canceled several projects and laid off employees to “streamline” operations.

The San Francisco-based publisher has cut 85 to 90 jobs and canceled four games in development, including transformers announced last year, a spin-off titled Heavy metal, according to Bloomberg report published today, bloomberg it was further reported that CEO John Hanke sent an email to employees stating that the company was “going through a period of economic turmoil” and that, following previous cost-cutting efforts, Niantic still needed “further optimization of our operations to best position the companies, to weather whatever economic storms may lie ahead.”

Other reportedly canceled games include Hamletplanned collaboration between Niantic and theater company Drunkas well as Blue sky as well as Snowballbut it is not clear if these were planned titles or internal codenames.

Niantic achieved great success in 2016. augmented reality Pokemon Go, but so far it has not been possible to replicate this success. In 2019, the studio released Harry Potter: Wizards Unitebut it never found a wide audience and was eventually closed earlier this year. Other games based Pikmin as well as Catan also failed to set fire to the world.

Read more: Niantic Mapped the world. Now they match you

In a statement sent Kotakua Niantic spokesperson confirmed the news of the layoffs and explained that he plans to continue to support Pokemon Go and his other games and projects.

“We recently decided to stop production on some projects and cut our workforce by about eight percent to focus on our key priorities,” Niantic said. “We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we support them through this difficult transition.

The company also told Kotaku that the move will allow the company to focus more on “new experiences” and that it will “continue to invest in the future of AR.”

While it is true that Niantic will continue to invest in new games –after all, the company just announced a new project with the NBA.– this is unlikely to console the dismissed. I can’t imagine watching your company keep making billions of dollars in one game when laying off employees is a good way to boost morale.

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