Niantic closes its Los Angeles studio and lays off 230 employees

Niantic braces for crucial organizational changes

Niantic, the all-famous developers of Pokémon Go is all but set to make some serious organizational changes. These changes include the closure of Niantic Los Angeles studio and the process of laying off around 230 of its employees. The reason behind these changes is believed to be the shift of focus toward making Pokémon Go a top priority for the developers.

Niantic aims to narrow down its investments in a bid to stay competitive with Pokémon Go in the market

The reason behind the move to disinvest in other game studios and lay off the employees is stated by the developers in their official statement as a necessary step needed to stay competitive in the industry. The developers stated only the best and most differentiated titles have the chance of surviving the market and making it to the top. The underlying focus is on keeping Pokémon Go healthy and developing it as a never-ending fun game with an active community forever.

Niantic Los Angeles studio, Niantic
Image via Niantic

Developers also stated that they will also be working on emerging classes of MR devices and future AR glasses to give them that extra competitive edge in the future. This means the developers will need a new facility to accommodate and facilitate the development of these new technologies, thus they have made the decision to replace its Los Angeles studio and start a new facility in place of it to make the necessary changes.

Niantic failed to replicate the upsurge of revenue they saw during the covid times

The core reason however behind such organizational changes has more to do with the finances rather than just a switch of priority. The developers have stated that during covid times they saw a sudden and unprecedented increase in the growth of revenue for themselves due to which they decided to step on the productions and make use of the momentum they had.

However, the momentum in post covid times caught up with reality, and the revenue started to decline as compared to the pre covid levels. Titles followed by Pokemon Go such as Pikmin Bloom, and NBA All-World did not do well. In fact, Niantic has also decided to shut down NBA All-World and close the production of Marvel World of Heroes because of this.

Pokémon Go Mesprit counters
Image via Niantic

Thus to remain competitive and stay relevant in the industry the developers have decided to shut down the LA studio and also lay off the 230 employees. It will be really interesting to see how things would unfold for the developers in the future and how the game, Pokémon Go would benefit from it.

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