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Niantic cancels four upcoming games, including Transformers title

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(Image credit: Niantic)

What you need to know 

  • Niantic has canceled four of its upcoming projects, including the Transformers-based Heavy Metal. 
  • The company will also cut about 85-90 jobs, or about 8% of their staff. 
  • The move comes as Niantic faces "a time of economic turmoil" and looks to continue streamlining operations within the company. 

Niantic — developers of the hit game Pokémon Go — have canceled four of their upcoming games, and are reportedly ready to cut about 85 to 90 jobs within the company. 

According to an email received by Bloomberg, Niantic Chief Executive Officer John Hanke said that the company was currently "facing a time of economic turmoil," and had already begun attempting to cut costs in a variety of places within the business. However, Hanke noted that the company had to “further streamline our operations in order to best position the company to weather any economic storms that may lie ahead.” 

Among the four projects canceled are Heavy Metal, a game based on the Transformers property that was announced last year, and Hamlet, a collaboration effort between Niantic and the theatrical company Punchdrunk, who were behind the interactive experience Sleep No More. 

Two other titles, Blue Sky and Snowball, were also canceled, but it's unknown exactly what those two projects were set to become. 

In response to the news, a spokesperson for Niantic confirmed the report, and said that they would be reducing their workforce by "about 8%" in the process. 

“We recently decided to stop production on some projects and reduce our workforce by about 8% to focus on our key priorities,” a spokesperson said. “We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Niantic and we are supporting them through this difficult transition.”

Since launching Pokémon Go in 2016, Niantic has struggled to find another hit title, with the company also shutting down work on its Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Catan: World Explorers titles last year, as well. 

Niantic does still have several games in development, including the upcoming Pikmin Bloom, as well as NBA All-World, a game announced just yesterday in partnership with the National Basketball Association.

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Pokémon Go 

Travel across the world and collect Pokémon that you can level up, trade, or use in gym battles against members of opposing teams. 

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Anthony J Nash
Anthony J Nash

Anthony Nash has been writing about games and the gaming industry for nearly a decade. When he’s not writing about games, he’s usually playing them. You can find him on Twitter talking about games or sports at @_anthonynash.