Niantic to cut staff and cancel projects, just after new NBA game reveal


Pokémon Go maker Niantic is to cut 85-90 staff as it streamlines ahead of a period of “economic turmoil”, as CEO John Hanke describes it.

Bloomberg has the scoop on the news, and says soft launch game Transformers: Heavy Metal plus three other titles in development are to be cancelled. 

Yesterday, Niantic announced a new game, NBA All-World, a basketball-themed take on Pokémon Go. But it has struggled to recapture the lightning in a bottle that is Pokémon Go – it has closed its Harry Potter-themed spin on the formula, Wizards Unite, and also briefly soft launched – then killed – a version of Catan using similar geolocation mechanics. It also has another creature-based game, Peridot, in soft launch, which appears to have escaped the chop.

Instead, Niantic seems committed to powering what it sees as the coming wave of AR software through its Lightship technology, and has made several acquisitions in the AR tech space. It also took on a $300m investment last November to build what it calls a ‘real-life metaverse’.

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