Pokémon Go Developer Niantic Announces Restructure Resulting In Over 200 Layoffs, Cancels Upcoming Marvel Game

Pokémon Go developer Niantic has announced a massive restructuring, where it will be closing its Los Angeles office, terminating over 200 employees, and scaling back development on a few titles as it narrows its focus towards supporting current titles while increasing its commitment to mixed and augmented reality development.

In an email sent to staff by CEO John Hanke (which you can read here), he explains that the pandemic-era surge of recruitment and expanding pipeline of projects ballooned to the point that, once the pandemic ended, the resulting expenses outpaced its revenue. 

“In the wake of the revenue surge we saw during Covid, we grew our headcount and related expenses in order to pursue growth more aggressively, expanding existing game teams, our AR platform work, new game projects and roles that support our products and our employees,” Hanke writes. “Post Covid, our revenue returned to pre-Covid levels and new projects in games and platform have not delivered revenues commensurate with those investments. This change will bring expenses and revenue back into line while preserving our core assets and long term upside.”

Hanke also cites an increasingly crowded mobile market and changes to mobile advertising making it difficult to launch new titles at scale. He also points to technology challenges creating an AR market that has developed slower than anticipated due to an overall lack of investment caused by what he describes as a “global macroeconomic slowdown.”

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