Niantic shuts down NBA All-World and stops MARVEL World of Heroes production

A huge decision from Niantic!

Niantic, known for its renowned augmented reality game Pokémon Go, has made the decision to shut down two of its highly anticipated projects, NBA All-World and MARVEL World of Heroes. While the former saw a full-fledged release earlier this year, the Marvel title was in development for a while, and sadly the production has been stopped before we could see a final product.

The reason provided was that Niantic’s expenses had outpaced revenue growth

On June 29, Niantic CEO John Hanke addressed the decision via organizational e-mail with Niantic employees. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Niantic experienced a revenue surge and expanded its workforce and related costs to pursue aggressive growth, including the expansion of game teams, the development of the AR platform, and the initiation of new game projects.

Niantic CEO John Hanke
Image via Niantic

However, post-Covid, revenue levels returned to pre-pandemic levels, and the expected returns from the new projects did not match the investments made. As a result, Niantic decided to align expenses with revenue while safeguarding core assets and long-term potential for growth. With this, the company is closing its LA studio, laying off around 230 employees.

John Hanke stated “The leadership team and I are committed to cutting out unnecessary processes, duplicate lines of authority, and unclear decision making. We are committed to supporting and rewarding high performing Niantics who are committed to the company and its mission and are working tirelessly to succeed.”

NBA All-World and World of Heroes had their own share of problems

Both the NBA and Marvel titles had their own share of problems. While NBA All-World wasn’t received well critically, the development pace of World of Heroes wasn’t any better.

NBA-All World opened to a mere $70k in revenue after the first week of release and mediocre reviews, and since then it did not pick up. The revenue and download graph paints a bleak picture, particularly the latter, which has remained stagnant since mid-April. Given the lack of progress and the disappointing performance, it became an obvious decision to abandon the project as a failure.

NBA All World revenue
Image via Appmagic/GamingonPhone

First announced in September at the Disney and Marvel Games Showcase at Disney’s D23 Expo 2022, the hype for the game was pretty high. The thought of AR with the Marvel characters was enough to pull. However, the recent soft launch in New Zealand proved otherwise, as the game seemed to be not ready yet for the markets.

As of now, there is no confirmed timeline for the shutdown of NBA All-World, and updates regarding the status of the Marvel title are nearly confirmed to stop. Regrettably, the potential of these games remains unexplored. Niantic had the opportunity to make significant strides with both projects, but perhaps it is now too late for a revival.

What are your thoughts on Niantic announcing the shut down NBA All-World and also stopping MARVEL World of Heroes production? Let us know in the comments below.

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