Recap: Many memorable issues occurred in 2016: Donald Trump gained the US election race, David Bowie and Prince died, and Pokémon Go grew to become a worldwide phenomenon. But the corporate behind the cell AR sport, Niantic, hasn’t been in a position to repeat that success, resulting in layoffs and canceled initiatives.
Bloomberg writes that Niantic Chief Executive Officer John Hanke informed employees in an e-mail that the corporate was “going through a time of financial turmoil” and had already been “decreasing prices in quite a lot of areas.”
San Francisco-based Niantic has reportedly canceled 4 initiatives: a Transformers spin-off introduced final 12 months known as Heavy Metal; Hamlet, which might have been a collaboration with Punchdrunk, the theatrical firm behind the interactive play Sleep No More; and two different initiatives known as Blue Sky and Snowball, although they might have been codenames.
Niantic can also be stated to have laid off 85 to 90 folks, or about 8% of its complete employees, however which may not be the top of the cuts as Hanke stated the corporate must “additional streamline our operations with a purpose to greatest place the corporate to climate any financial storms which will lie forward.”
To say Pokémon Go had an enormous cultural impression could be an understatement. It set a brand new document for the variety of downloads in its first week, with folks spending extra time on the app than Facebook. It had hit a billion downloads by 2019 and at one level was producing $1 billion per 12 months in income.
There have been additionally tales of criminals utilizing Pokémon Go to lure and rob folks at gunpoint, customers trashing neighbourhoods and seashores, the disastrous pageant, and a reported $2 billion to $7.3 billion in car damage—along with two deaths—linked to the sport throughout its first 148 days
But Niantic has failed to search out comparable success with its different titles. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, a sport that copied the Pokémon Go format, was closed down earlier this 12 months. There was additionally Pikmin Bloom and Catan, neither of which have come near matching the recognition of Pikachu and co.
Niantic confirmed the layoffs to Kotaku. “We lately determined to cease manufacturing on some initiatives and cut back our workforce by about eight p.c to concentrate on our key priorities,” stated a spokesperson. “We are grateful for the contributions of these leaving Niantic, and we’re supporting them by means of this tough transition.” It added that the cutbacks will permit it to concentrate on “new experiences” and the corporate will “proceed investing in the way forward for AR.”
One of the video games Niantic will proceed engaged on is NBA All-World, a just-announced sport created in partnership with the NBA wherein gamers “can discover, problem, and compete towards in the present day’s NBA ballers of their neighborhoods.”