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The Wall Street Journal: ‘Pokemon Go’ creator Niantic lays off 8% of its workforce, halts some projects

Niantic Inc. has laid off about 8% of its workforce and stopped production on several projects, the company said Wednesday, as the creator of the popular game “Pokémon Go” struggles to produce another breakout hit.

Closely held Niantic said it would devote attention to games such as “NBA All-World,” a newly announced title featuring augmented reality, or AR, technology that it’s making in partnership with the National Basketball Association. It will also work on its app-development platform called Lightship and “Pokémon Go,” the groundbreaking AR game for smartphones that exploded in popularity after launching in 2016.

“This means we can focus on our most important priorities,” a spokesman for the company said. “This increased focus, as well our strong core business, puts us in a position to weather the broader economic uncertainty many companies are facing and continue investing in the future of AR.”

Bloomberg News earlier reported on the layoff plans.

The Niantic announcement comes amid mounting recession fears and falling valuations for stocks that have prompted many tech companies to slow or freeze hiring, or in some cases, announce layoffs.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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