Is Pokemon Go In Trouble?

Pokemon Go is one of the most popular mobile games in the world, but it still somehow manages to find itself in turmoil.

By Jason Collins | Published

pokemon go

One-hit wonders are almost never replicated; they’re the accidental strokes of originality whose flavor fades with time and constant replication attempts. True genius, however, lies in the ability to actually take the known elements and arrange them into something new entirely. So far, the former is usually associated with indie and small-time gaming developers, while the latter is usually associated with gaming giants backed up by considerable monetary resources. Unfortunately, the fate of the former has now befallen Niantic, which could potentially mean trouble for Pokemon Go.

According to Kotaku, a mobile gaming company, Niantic, best known for developing Pokemon Go titles, is currently struggling to find its next big hit. So much so that the aforementioned struggles have caused the company to face economic turmoil, leading to job cuts and project cancelations. As per the report, Niantic cut approximately 90 jobs and canceled four games that were in active development, including a Transformers spin-off game announced last year. Job cuts and cancelations are, according to Niantic higher-ups, necessary to further streamline company operations.

Besides the aforementioned Transformers spin-off game, which was aptly titled Heavy Metal, Pokemon Go developer also canceled Hamlet, a planned collaboration between Niantic and a theatre company called Punchdrunk, as well as titles called Blue Sky and Snowball. It’s still unknown whether the last and second-last were actual titles or internal code names for in-development projects. Shame, really, considering the previous company’s success.

Most of that success came from Pokemon Go, an augmented reality-powered game that had its fair share of controversies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The game is still relative in 2022, but it’s only a matter of time before, like the majority of gaming titles in the digital age, becomes obsolete. Unfortunately for Niantic, Pokemon Go is still the major profit generator for the company, considering that the developer has failed to replicate the game’s success.

The developer of Pokemon Go released Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in 2019, but the game never found a larger audience, which led to its termination earlier this year. Apparently, Harry Potter fans only want to experience the Wizarding World on more prominent handhelds, like Nintendo Switch or other more prominent gaming console platforms — we’re, of course, talking about the upcoming Hogwarts Legacy video game. Niantic’s other games, such as a Pokemon-clone Pikmin or Catan, failed to replicate the success of Pokemon Go, as well.

Regardless of layoffs and the company’s economic turmoil, Niantic spokesperson has stated that the company still plans to support Pokemon Go and its other gaming titles and projects. According to the statement, the cancelation of several projects will allow the company to shift its focus on developing more unique AR gaming experiences and further development of AR technologies. And while it sounds contradictory, the company has several new gaming concepts lined up.

The company announced a new project with NBA in the very same statement about 10% workforce reductions, which is a very strange way of helping those who have lost their job transition from having a steady income stream, to merely watching the company they used to work for making millions on Pokemon Go — something they have contributed to.