Niantic lays off up to 90 people, cancels at least four games

Niantic has cancelled four of its upcoming titles and started to lay off staff, according to Bloomberg

The New York City based media publication has said that 85 to 90 people will be let go, which is about 8% of the total staff at the mobile game development company. Niantic CEO John Hanke said in an internal email that the company was “facing a time of economic turmoil” and that Niantic would need to “further streamline our operations in order to best position the company to weather any economic storms that may lie ahead.”. 

Among the cancelled games was a project called Heavy Metal (which starred Hasbro’s Transformers brand), two games we know little about called Blue Sky and Snowball, and a game called Hamlet, which was a collaboration with Punchdrunk, the company that made an interactive play called Sleep No More. 

A representative from Niantic spoke to Bloomberg about the layoffs, saying “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.”

Niantic recently acquired NZXR, 8th Wall, Lowkey, Hoss, and Scaniverse to bolster their game development efforts. It is currently still supporting and developing a slate of games, including Catan: World Explorers, Pokémon Go and Pikmin Bloom. The company recently shut down Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, shortly after it raised $300 million to put towards building the “real-world metaverse”.

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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