Niantic, the makers of the ever-popular Pokemon Go is shutting down its LA studio and upcoming Marvel game, with over 200 layoffs following aggressive restructuring.
Originally reported by Kotaku, an internal email was published to the Niantic website highlighting the troubles faced by the company, which grew exponentially during the Pandemic but has had trouble maintaining that same the income.
“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”, says company founder John Hanke.
AppMagic’s reports definitely reflect this- the company’s earnings skyrocket during the COVID years peaking at 118 million USD in August 2020, normalizing in June 2022 at around 59 million USD.
This only includes in-app purchases, however, and does not consider alternate revenue for the company.
Hanke also confirmed that around 230 people would be laid off amid the restructuring as they “focus on first-party games”.
He also says the company will focus on a more “results-driven” approach:
“In terms of how the company is run, expect a more direct and results-based culture. The leadership team and I are committed to cutting out unnecessary processes, duplicate lines of authority, and unclear decision making”, he says.
While the LA studio will be shuttered the company still has studios in San Francisco, London and Tokyo.
This decision also includes the cancelling of the upcoming Marvel: World of Heroes, as well as the sunsetting of NBA All-World.
Other in-development projects like Monster Hunter Now will continue development, according to Hanke, who expressed optimism at the future title.
As for Pokemon Go, Hanke reassured everyone the game would not be in danger:
“The top priority is to keep Pokémon GO healthy and growing as a forever game. While we made some adjustments to the Pokémon GO team, our investment in the product and team continues to grow”, he says.
Since the debut of Pokemon Go in 2016, multiple brands have had Niantic develop games based on their IP, chasing similar success such as Harry Potter and Transformers.
That being said many of these titles would end up being shut down following poor financial performance.