Niantic, the renowned studio behind the wildly popular augmented reality (AR) game Pokémon Go, is the latest company to announce layoffs. The news broke after an internal memo was leaked to Kotaku, revealing that Niantic would be parting ways with 230 employees. Alongside the layoffs, the company also disclosed the closure of its Los Angeles studio and the cancellation of two licensed games: NBA All-World and Marvel: World of Heroes. However, the silver lining for fans is that Pokémon Go will continue its operations as the flagship product.
In an “organizational update” published by Niantic, CEO John Hanke addressed the changes and the studio’s strategic shift. Hanke explained that the decision was driven by a desire to focus on first-party games that align closely with Niantic’s core values of location-based gameplay and fostering local social communities. The mobile gaming market’s maturity necessitates a concentration on the best and most unique titles to achieve success. Additionally, Niantic aims to increase its emphasis on developing for the emerging class of mixed reality (MR) devices and future augmented reality (AR) glasses.