Pokémon GO is still the "top priority"
Niantic hit the big time with Pokémon GO and rapidly expanded into multiple other augmented reality-driven mobile experiences. Unfortunately, post-pandemic it's now experiencing a rough patch - with an update on the company website and email to employees revealing Niantic is axing two games and letting go of 230 employees as part of its LA studio closure.
Niantic CEO John Hanke told employees and fans how the company had decided to "narrow" its focus on certain mobile game investments. NBA All-World will be sunset and production on Marvel: World of Heroes will come to a halt.
âWe have allowed our expenses to grow faster than revenue. In the wake of the revenue surge we saw during Covid, we grew our headcount and related expenses in order to pursue growth more aggressively, expanding existing game teams, our AR platform work, new game projects and roles that support our products and our employees. 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.â
Fortunately, Pokémon GO remains the "top priority" for Niantic, with apparently plenty of growth "as a forever game". Some other good news for Nintendo fans is that Niantic apparently remains committed to Pikmin Bloom. One other project it will also be sticking with is Monster Hunter Now, based on the popular Capcom IP.
Although Pokémon GO is in good health financially, there has been some frustration voiced by the game's community in recent months after Niantic made some adjustments to Remote Raid Passes - increasing the prices and also limiting the number of raids players can participate in per day.