Pokémon Go maker Niantic cancels projects and lays off 8% of its staff

Pokemon Go and pikmine Bloom Manufacturer Niantic cuts costs and cancels games. According to a new report from Bloomberg, the maker of games and augmented reality technologies, is cutting 8% of its staff and abandoning four projects in development. This includes two previously announced efforts, the AR game Transformers: heavy metal and a collaboration with the Punchdrunk theater company, known for its immersive play Don’t sleep anymore.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Niantic CEO John Hanke told employees in an email that the company is “facing turbulent economic times” and is seeking to control costs.

Niantic is best known for its hit mobile game Pokemon Goa successor to its first augmented reality title Hall. Launched in 2016, Pokemon Go was and continues to be a success for Niantic, and was the fifth highest-grossing mobile game in the United States in 2021, according to research firm Sensor Tower.

Niantic attempted to replicate Pokemon Gosuccess with other popular properties. In the summer of 2019, the company launched Harry Potter: Wizards Unitebut he failed to catch on the way Pokemon Go did. Two years after the Wizard World game launched, Niantic announced that it would be shut down. Niantic then partnered with Nintendo to Pikmin Flowera mobile game that was modestly successful and reportedly only generated $5 million in revenue, a far cry from Pokemon Go‘s billions of income.

Based on reports from Bloomberg, it looks like Niantic will continue to move forward with the recently announced NBA All World, a free-to-play game where players collect NBA stars, upgrade and customize them with items collected during visits to real-life locations, and compete against other players in one-on-one matches on the courts of their neighborhood and elsewhere. Niantic also offers an original virtual pet game, Peridotin development, which it has already soft-launched and plans to release more widely this year.