Gaming industry: Unity and Niantic lay off employees

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Unity, the company behind the game engine of the same name, is laying off around 4 percent of the workforce. The company has now confirmed this according to previous media reports. This step is justified with a realignment of resources. Niantic, the studio behind the AR game Pokémon Go, is also cutting jobs.

About the layoffs at Unity, Kotaku first reported on the basis of its own sources and “hundreds” were affected spoken to employees. In the meantime, the company itself has confirmed in a statement that around 4 percent of the entire workforce has to look for a new job as part of a “continuous planning process”.

According to Gamesindustry, Unity's most recent SEC Filing report reported a workforce of 5,245 full-time employees spread across 54 departments in 21 countries. A share of around 4 percent would mean laying off a little more than 200 employees; Kotaku's sources had even previously spoken of 300 to 400.

The company regrets these “difficult decisions”, thanks those affected for their contribution to date and offers support in changing jobs. In an anonymous message board, suspected employees previously provided information about internal processes at Unity.

Last year Unity generated a significantly higher turnover of 1.1 billion US dollars. However, the operating loss rose to around 532 million US dollars compared to 2020, almost twice as much. Recently, the publicly traded company's financial outlook has been revised downwards, Gamesindustry reports.

Layoffs also at Niantic

The developer studio Niantic celebrated a great success with the augmented reality game Pokémon Go. However, it was published many years ago and there has been a lack of major titles since then.

As Jason Schreier reports for Bloomberg, Niantic now has 80 to 90 employees, or 8 percent of the workforce fired and also discontinued four ongoing projects.

CEO John Hanke spoke in an e-mail to the employees of “economic turbulence”, which is to be countered with rationalization measures.

Given the estimated $1.9 billion in revenue from Pokémon Go alone in 2020, the move seems tough. However, Niantic had a real flop with the AR title Harry Potter: Wizards Unite: the game was discontinued two and a half years after publication. Most recently, Niantic's focus was on creating a “real-world metaverse” based on AR cloud technology and its own AR glasses.