Pokémon Go creator closes studio and cuts jobs

Pokemon Go maker Niantic Inc. is closing its Los Angeles game studio and cancelling NBA and Marvel titles in a restructuring aimed at stabilising the company’s finances.

Niantic will cut 230 jobs, or about 25% of its staff, a spokesperson said Thursday.

“We have allowed our expenses to grow faster than revenue,” chief executive officer John Hanke wrote in an email to employees.

“New projects in games and platform have not delivered revenues commensurate with those investments.”

The closely held San Francisco-based metaverse darling will halt work on the upcoming Marvel World of Heroes and shut down its NBA All-World game.

Released in January, NBA All-World received just 354,000 downloads in its first week, according to data compiled by Data.ai.

By comparison, Niantic’s Nintendo collaboration Pikmin Bloom and latest game Peridot received about 1 million downloads in their first week.

The restructuring will bring expenses and revenue “back in line while preserving our core assets,”  Hanke said.

The company remains committed to supporting Pokemon GoPikmin BloomPeridotIngress and the upcoming Monster Hunter Now game, the spokesperson said.

Last year, Niantic cancelled four projects and cut 8% of its staff.

In May, Bloomberg reported that the company had been struggling to produce a hit amid metaverse skepticism.

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Pokémon Go creator closes studio and cuts jobs