Niantic Lays Off 230 Employees, Shuts down L.A studio

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Niantic, the company behind Pokémon GO, is laying off 230 employees and abandoning all internal game development. The layoffs come as part of a mass restructuring at the company, which is also canceling or shutting down licensed titles.

In a blog post, Niantic CEO John Hanke said that the company had “allowed our expenses to grow faster than revenue” as it expanded in the wake of the pandemic. He also said that the projects it launched “have not delivered revenues commensurate with those investments.”

As a result of the layoffs, Niantic is shutting down its LA-based studio and cutting jobs across all of its other offices. The company is also sunsetting NBA All-World and canceling development on Marvel: World of Heroes.

Hanke said that the priority for Niantic is to “keep Pokémon GO healthy and growing as a forever game.” The company will also work on the user retention and profitability of Pikmin Bloom, Peridot, and Monster Hunter Now.

In addition to the layoffs, Niantic is also making changes to its technology. The company is improving its AR platform and maps, and it is also working on cross-platform solutions.

The layoffs at Niantic are the latest sign of the challenges facing the augmented reality (AR) industry. AR is still a relatively new technology, and it has not yet been able to achieve widespread adoption. As a result, many AR companies are struggling to make money.

The layoffs at Niantic are also a reminder of the risks of rapid growth. Niantic grew rapidly in the wake of the success of Pokémon GO, but it appears that the company may have grown too quickly. The layoffs are an attempt by Niantic to get back on track and focus on its core business.

  • In January 2023, Niantic announced that it would be laying off 8% of its workforce, or about 85 employees. The layoffs were reportedly due to a combination of factors, including the company’s slowing growth and the rising costs of developing new AR games.
  • In March 2023, Niantic released its first new AR game in over a year, Peridot. The game was met with mixed reviews, with some critics praising its innovative gameplay and others criticizing its lack of polish.
  • In April 2023, Niantic announced that it would be sunsetting Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The game, which was released in 2019, had been struggling to retain players in recent months.
  • In May 2023, Niantic announced that it would be partnering with Google to bring AR to Android devices. The partnership will allow Niantic to take advantage of Google’s ARCore platform, which will make it easier for developers to create AR experiences for Android devices.

The layoffs at Niantic are a sign that the company is facing some challenges. However, the company still has a number of successful games under its belt, including Pokémon GO, which is still one of the most popular mobile games in the world. With its focus on AR technology, Niantic is well-positioned to succeed in the future, as AR is expected to become increasingly popular in the years to come.

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