Game News Pokémon GO: canceled games and layoffs, all is not so well at Niantic
The case may surprise when you know the maddening success of Pokémon Go, and yet: the Niantic studio is experiencing real turmoil at this very moment, pushing it to part with a good part of its workforce and to cancel its projects.
Let it GO
With Pokemon GO and its advent in 2016, the Niantic studio found itself among the prolific in the world, obviously sharing its income with Nintendo: it’s simple, the game in augmented reality has brought in more than six billion dollars in total through the AppStore and the Google Play Store. Even today, contrary to what one might think, the title continues to be a hit and is the main economic engine of the San Francisco-based firm.
And yet… life isn’t so rosy among developers right now. It was the Bloomberg site that pointed the finger at the situation, with a period of crisis pushing the company to stop four of its ongoing projectswhose the transformers game and the one in collaboration with Punchdrunk (a company specializing in theatrical experiences, notably behind Sleep No More).
Even worse, Niantic would be pushed to cut around 85-90 jobs.
Turbulence despite a large liner
And it’s true that when you look in the rearview mirror, Niantic accuses of a few failures: we obviously think of Harry Potter: Wizards Unitewhich closed its doors after a few lean years of activity, or Pikmin Bloom which, despite a successful concept, seems to suffer from the stifling influence of Pokemon GO. What if there was only room for the latter, after all?
After the Bloomberg revelations, Niantic CEO John Hanke wanted to speak officially. The company actually does “in the face of a period of economic turbulence” in order to face the “financial storms” coming. A spokesperson told Bloomberg:
“We recently decided to halt production on certain projects and reduce our workforce by approximately 8% to focus on our top priorities. We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we support them throughout this difficult transition.
There is now only to see if the other apps in developmentlike NBA All-World or Peridot (a game also focusing on “collectible” creatures, will not be left behind in this visibly tormented situation.