Niantic, US-based software development company behind the hit title Pokémon GO, decided to go downsizing by laying off 8% of its staff equivalent to roughly 85-90 people and cancelling four of its projects which are Heavy Metal, Blue Sky, Hamlet and Snowball. The news arrives months after the developer announced that it raised $300 million at a $9 billion valuation ”to build real-world metaverse.”
According to Bloomberg, Niantic CEO John Hanke said in an email to employees that the company made the decision in order to cut its costs as a precaution for “economic storms that may lie ahead.”
Niantic’s hit title Pokémon GO was first launched in July 2016 and surpassed 678 million downloads worldwide as of January 2022. The game has also generated over $6 billion in lifetime player spending as of June 2022.
In order to sustain the great success it had with Pokémon GO, Niantic has been working on similar AR games including Pikmin Bloom and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite which have relatively smaller audiences. The developer also recently introduced a new real-world AR title Peridot which is currently in the soft-launch testing phase.