niantic layoffs

Pokemon Go’s Developer Niantic Is Laying Off 230 Employees And Cancelling Its Marvel Game

Plus, NBA All-World is supposedly set to shut down.

In an internal email sent to Pokemon Go developer Niantic’s employees and shared publicly, it’s been revealed that the company is shuttering its dedicated Los Angeles studio, laying off 230 employees, cancelling its Marvel: World of Heroes game in development and shutting down another of its games, NBA All-World.

In the email, Niantic’s founder John Hanke admits that the company “allowed [its] expenses to grow faster than revenue” and things have been in decline after a high during the COVID-19 pandemic, with greater competition in the Augmented Reality mobile gaming space and less long-term engagement from its players.

“We also bear responsibility for our own performance,” the email from Hanke reads. “Today’s highly competitive mobile gaming market requires dazzling quality and innovation. It also requires strong monetisation and a social core which can drive viral growth and long term engagement. Teams need platform tools that are force multipliers, enabling them to build at the highest quality with powerful engagement features quickly and efficiently. Our AR map and platform must deliver the features that developers want in a robust and reliable way. We have not met our goals in all of these areas.”

Niantic’s other games like Pikmin Bloom, Monster Hunter Now and Peridot seem to be safe from closure for now, and of course the enormous hit that catapulted the company to a household name, Pokemon Go, will remain “healthy and growing as a forever game.”

These cancellations are added to a few previous false starts from Niantic with the likes of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Catan World Explorers being closed down in the past and a Transformers game dubbed Heavy Metal having been cancelled before it could come to fruition, showing that the company seemingly has an eye toward aggressive growth that’s just not working out for them so far.