Pokemon Go Creator Cancels New Marvel Game Amid Layoffs


Niantic, the renowned creator of Pokemon Go, has decided to cancel the development of Marvel World of Heroes, an upcoming Marvel-themed game. Initially unveiled in September 2022, Marvel World of Heroes aimed to leverage Niantic's expertise in augmented reality games, similar to Pokemon Go, by enabling players to engage with popular Marvel heroes such as Captain America and Spider-Man through customized hero avatars. The announcement of the game's cancellation was made on Thursday, alongside other organizational modifications, including the discontinuation of NBA All-World, the closure of a studio, and a workforce reduction of over 200 employees.

In an email addressed to Niantic employees, CEO John Hanke outlined the rationale behind these decisions. Hanke highlighted the evolving landscape of mobile games and expressed a strategic shift towards prioritizing first-party games and titles designed for emerging technologies like mixed reality and augmented reality devices. The email, initially intended for internal communication, was made public on Thursday, disseminating the news to a wider audience.

"Specifically, this means we will be closing our LA studio, reducing our game platform team and making additional reductions across the company," Hanke said. "As a result, we will be sunsetting NBA All-World and stopping production on Marvel: World of Heroes. This means we are laying off around 230 Niantics."

Hanke presented several reasons for the cancellation, citing challenges in the current competitive landscape of mobile games. Although Niantic experienced a surge in revenue and expanded its workforce during the Covid shutdowns, Hanke acknowledged that when revenue returned to more normal levels, the performance of the projects undertaken by Niantic fell below expectations. Additionally, Niantic's mobile platform did not meet its intended goals in terms of social engagement, monetization, and the necessary tools to achieve those objectives.

Looking ahead, Hanke emphasized that the primary focus for Niantic will remain on Pokemon Go. While acknowledging the need for substantial improvements, he expressed confidence in other forthcoming games such as Pikmin Bloom, Peridot, and Monster Hunter Now.

Marvel World of Heroes, poised to tap into the multiverse trend, had initially targeted a release sometime in 2023. Prior to its cancellation, the game had been in beta testing in certain regions as part of a soft launch but had not yet received wide availability.

The preview of the now-defunct Marvel game enticed players with the promise of becoming a Marvel Super Hero in the real world. Players were invited to create their own hero, patrol their neighborhoods to thwart crimes, and team up with both friends and iconic Marvel heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine to save the Multiverse.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post