Pokémon Go developer Niantic cancels four projects and lays off more than 80 people
Niantic, which has been trying to replicate the massive success of Pokémon Go with other mobile AR games, is laying off 8 percent of its workforce and canceling four projects, as reported by Bloomberg.
“We recently decided to stop production on some projects and reduce our workforce by about eight percent to focus on our key priorities,” Niantic VP of communications Jonny Thaw said in a statement. “We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we are supporting them through this difficult transition.
“This means we can focus on our most important priorities, including Pokémon Go and a select set of new experiences, as well as the Lightship platform. This increased focus, as well our strong core business, puts us in a position to weather the broader economic uncertainty many companies are facing and continue investing in the future of AR.”
According to Bloomberg, the changes mean Niantic is canceling Transformers: Heavy Metal, a game made in partnership with Sleep No More creator Punchdrunk, and two titles codenamed Blue Sky and Snowball. About 85 to 90 people are being let go.
Pokémon Go has proven to be an enduring hit despite being nearly six years old, but other AR games haven’t had quite as much success. Niantic has recently shut down AR games based on the Catan and Harry Potter franchises, and Microsoft shut down Minecraft Earth last year. That said, Niantic still seems committed to making new games — its adorable game Peridot is in a soft launch, and the company just announced an NBA title.