Niantic to lay off eight percent of work force amid ‘economic turmoil’

The AR game developer has also cancelled four future projects, including Transformers: Heavy Metal

Niantic, the augmented reality (AR) mobile game creator hasn’t been able to deliver a new title that is on par with the mania it created in 2016 with Pokémon Go.

Titles like Pikmin Bloom and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite couldn’t replicate Pokémon GO’s success, and the company is now in the midst of laying off its employees.

As reported by Bloomberg, the San Francisco, California-based company is firing eight percent of its staff, on top of cancelling four projects that were planned to come out in the future, including Transformers: Heavy Metal, an AR game based on Hasbro’s Transformers franchise.

Niantic’s CEO John Hanke recently wrote an email to staff, informing them that the company is “facing a time of economic turmoil,” and even though it has been “reducing costs in a variety of areas,” those aren’t enough, and that Niantic needs to “further streamline [its] operations in order to best position the company to weather any economic storms that may lie ahead.”

According to Bloomberg, other projects that have been cancelled include Blue Sky, Snowball and Hamlet, with the latter being developed alongside British theatre company Punchdrunk.

Interestingly enough, when one door closes, another opens. The company announced yesterday that it has partnered with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to create an AR basketball game. The title is expected to land on both iOS and Android during the next NBA season, and might just be the winner that Niantic is looking for. Learn more about the upcoming title below:

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: Bloomberg