Photo of the Niantic logo overlaid with a sad Pikachu
Photo of the Niantic logo overlaid with a sad Pikachu

Niantic Layoffs Leave Hundreds Out of Work at Pokémon Go Developer, Cancels Marvel Game

Pokémon Go developer Niantic has reportedly been hit with layoffs, leaving hundreds without a job and spelling the end for some of the mobile developer’s current and upcoming games.

Niantic lays off 230 Employees and cancels Marvel: World of Heroes

As initially reported by Kotaku, a leaked internal email from Niantic founder John Hanke has announced massive changes coming to the mobile developer as its struggles to cope with declining revenues. Citing plummeting profits as a reason for the changes, Hanke’s email outlined how the Pokémon Go developer will be letting go of 230 employees, shuttering its Los Angeles studio, and canceling the superhero-themed Marvel: World of Heroes AR game originally set to release later this year. The developer’s NBA All-World AR game will also be shuttered as part of the restructuring process.  

Pokemon Go Current Raids: Mega Medicham
Image via Niantic

After experiencing massive growth throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Pokémon Go’s growth slowed dramatically as the world began to reopen and the popular title faced increased competition from other AR games. Attempting to take responsibility for the company’s recent downturn, Hanke’s email stated that Niantic failed to meet its goals of delivering “dazzling quality and innovation” in concert with “strong monetization and a social core which can drive viral growth and long term engagement.” News of Niantic’s financial struggles come just days after it was revealed that Microsoft considered buying Niantic in 2020 in order to expand the audience for Xbox Game Studios titles.

All hope isn’t lost for fans of the developer’s flagship title, though. Despite rumors that Pokémon Go is shutting down in 2023 the colorful AR game doesn’t look to be going anywhere any time soon. In addition to maintaining development on Pikmin Bloom, Monster Hunter Now, and Peridot, Niantic will continue supporting Pokémon Go with the goal of ensuring the AR title remains “healthy and growing as a forever game.” But while this is surely welcome news for Pokémon Go players, it’s likely cold comfort for the laid-off Niantic employees now looking for a new job.

Upcoming Releases

In this next generation role-playing game set amongst the stars, create any character you want and explore with unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey to answer humanity’s greatest mystery.
Inspired by the familiar story of Pinocchio, Lies of P is an action souls-like game set in a dark Belle Époque world. Guide Pinocchio on his unrelenting journey to become human.
After a strange incident, the Phantom Thieves wander into a bizarre realm where its citizens are living under tyrannical oppression. Surrounded by a military group named Legionnaires, they find themselves in grave danger until a mysterious revolutionary named Erina rescues them and offers an enticing deal in exchange for their help. What truth lies behind Erina and the deal she…
S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 is a unique blend of FPS, immersive sim and horror with a really thick atmosphere. One of the biggest open-worlds to date is yours to explore — along with an epic branching story with multiple endings. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. stands for (Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers and Robbers).