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Pokemon Go firm Niantic slashes staff

The maker of mobile game Pokemon Go has said it will slash 230 jobs, almost one-third of its staff, in another blow to the tech industry.

Pokemon Go has been downloaded more than one billion times and has brought roughly $1 billion in revenues each year since its release in 2016, according to analysis firm Sensor Tower
Pokemon Go has been downloaded more than one billion times and has brought roughly $1 billion in revenues each year since its release in 2016, according to analysis firm Sensor Tower - Copyright AFP Farooq NAEEM
Pokemon Go has been downloaded more than one billion times and has brought roughly $1 billion in revenues each year since its release in 2016, according to analysis firm Sensor Tower - Copyright AFP Farooq NAEEM

The maker of mobile game Pokemon Go has said it will slash 230 jobs, almost one-third of its staff, in another blow to the tech industry.

Niantic boss John Hanke said in an email to staff posted online late on Thursday that the San Francisco-based firm needed to cut costs because of a post-pandemic slump in business.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs in the tech sector over the past year, with firms often blaming over-hiring during the pandemic.

Gaming firms from Electronic Arts to Ubisoft have all announced cuts to staff despite continuing to make profits.

Niantic has been struggling to match the success of Pokemon Go, where players are guided by their mobile phones to real-world locations to collect magical creatures.

The game has been downloaded more than one billion times and has brought roughly $1 billion in revenues each year since its release in 2016, according to analysis firm Sensor Tower.

But Niantic has shelved several other projects recently and Hanke announced on Thursday that its latest effort, basketball game “NBA All-World”, would be discontinued just months after being released.

“Post Covid, our revenue returned to pre-Covid levels and new projects in games and platform have not delivered revenues commensurate with those investments,” Hanke wrote.

According to previous statements by Hanke, the firm had roughly 700 staff, making Thursday’s cuts almost one-third of their remaining workers.

He said its studio in Los Angeles would close down, adding that the firm’s priority was now to focus on Pokemon Go.

AFP
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