Pokémon GO has been an incredible success for developer Niantic, but the American company appears to be facing some struggles – with the cancellation of four projects and staff cuts of 85 to 90 people.
In an email to employees (reviewed by Bloomberg), the company’s CEO John Hanke revealed Niantic was “facing a time of economic turmoil”, and had already been trying to reduce costs in various areas, in order to best position itself for any “economic storms” that may lie ahead. A Niantic spokesperson shared a follow-up statement:
“We recently decided to stop production on some projects and reduce our workforce by about 8% to focus on our key priorities. We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we are supporting them through this difficult transition.”
The cancelled projects reportedly include the Transformers title Heavy Metal, Hamlet – a collaboration with theatrical company Punchdrunk, and two other projects known as “Blue Sky” and “Snowball”.
Pokémon GO is currently celebrating its sixth anniversary and has generated more than $1 billion per year on average. Unfortunately, many other Niantic games such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and the Nintendo-backed title Pikmin Bloom have fallen short. Wizards Unite was even shut down at the end of last year. The developer has also just teased NBA: All-World.
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