‘Pokémon Go’ Creator Niantic Cancels Four Projects, Cuts 8% of Staff

After its launch in 2016, Pokemon Go became a global sensation, with players collectively walking 8.7 million miles in its first year alone. Niantic, the company behind the mobile game, has since struggled to find another equally good game and has now made the decision to cancel four projects that will cut around 85-90 jobs.

Niantic CEO John Hanke reportedly wrote in an email to staff (via, Bloomberg) that the company was “facing a period of economic turbulence” and that it was “already cutting costs in various areas”. Hanke further stated that Niantic needs to “further streamline our operations to best position the company to weather any economic storms that may arise.”

Canceled projects included heavy metala Transformers game announced by Niantic in 2021, and Hamlet, a collaboration between Niantic and Punchdrunk, the company behind the popular interactive coin Sleep No More. It also included the projects named Blue Sky and Snowball, of which no further information seems to be available.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. 1 credit

Surprisingly, given the success of Pokemon Go, Niantic has struggled to find similar success with its other efforts. Earlier this year, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was shut down after launching just three years prior, in 2019.

A Niantic spokesperson said, “We recently decided to halt production on certain projects and reduce our workforce by approximately 8% to focus on our top priorities,” and went on to explain, “We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we stand with them through this difficult transition.

Separately, an unprecedented amount of confidential game data was leaked online in 2020, and Nintendo finally responded to the “gigaleak” by saying it had tightened security measures.

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