NBA All-World logo above image of earth.

Niantic to Focus on NBA All-World and Pokémon GO Amidst Economic Crisis

Stephanie is a writer at VGKAMI and a long-time lover of video games—specifically JRPGs. Anything in the fantasy genre is her jam, and she vows to bring back The Legend of Dragoon one day. Stephanie has also worked as an editor at TheGamer and published features for NME.

A recent report states that Niantic is having some serious economic trouble, leading to their decision to drop projects and cut 8% of their staff. Down the line, Niantic will keep their focus on Pokémon GO and NBA All-World.

It’s no secret that Pokémon GO has remained Niantic’s most successful game. Niantic has attempted to recreate that success, but nothing has landed quite yet. Wizards Unite—a Harry Potter-themed mobile game with many similarities to Pokémon GO—shut down at the beginning of this year in January due to lack of public interest. It had just been launched in 2019, so its life was cut significantly short.

Unfortunately, it seems Niantic’s troubles have not subsided. According to a report from Bloomberg, Niantic has just canceled four of their projects, and they will be letting go of 85 to 90 Niantic employees—8% of their staff. Included in the canceled projects are Heavy Metal—a Transformers game that Niantic announced last year—Hamlet, Blue Sky, and Snowball.

Logo for Pokémon GO.

According to an email written by Niantic’s Chief Executive Officer, John Hanke, Niantic is “facing a time of economic turmoil” and “reducing costs in a variety of areas.” Though this sounds bleak, Hanke also makes it clear that the company is preparing itself to handle any future “economic storms” that could happen in the future. Additionally, a spokesperson for Niantic states that they’re going to take care of those they let go. “We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we are supporting them through this difficult transition,” they said.

Going forward, Niantic plans to keep giving attention to their other games, including NBA All-World. Niantic recently partnered with the National Basketball Association to bring us this game in which “players can find, challenge, and compete against today’s NBA ballers in their neighborhoods.”

Luckily, Niantic is still also making plenty of headway with Pokémon GO. Just the other day, they posted updates on everything we’d be seeing coming up in the month of July. This includes information about Pokémon GO Fest, Raids, other events, and more. You can check out the full details here.