Niantic Looks Beyond Pokémon GO, but Do They Have The Bandwidth?

Niantic Looks Beyond Pokémon GO, but Do They Have The Bandwidth?

Niantic is planning for future games, but Pokémon GO still needs a lot of work if it's to remain viable in the long-term.

Pokémon GO has earned more than $440 million since launching in July, and even though its numbers have levelled out recently, it remains one of the hottest mobile apps on the market.

The game's developer, Niantic, still has a lot of features in the pipeline for Pokémon GO. The once-rumored "Buddy System," for example, is indeed fact, and will be coming soon. But Niantic CEO John Hanke recently spoke to Game Informer about future projects it's already working on, including new games built on the AR formula pioneered by Ingress and Pokémon GO (transcription from Nintendolife):

"The Niantic platform is very much a part of our long-term vision and we have some projects that are in the early stages now that will be built on top of it so you can definitely expect to see that from us in the future."

The question is, does Niantic have the bandwidth to start laying down groundwork for games that aren't Pokémon GO? Nobody begrudges the company for branching out a bit and crafting new titles that aren't Pokémon-related, but Niantic gives off the impression of a company that's stretched to the limit, labor-wise. It's a small team, and even though it's clearly making a hiring push, it's unclear how many – if any – new employees have been brought on board since it started its job rush.

There's still a ton of work to be done on Pokémon GO: Trading, the addition of new Pokémon, the implementation of a more complicated battle system, and endless bug fixes. It'd be a huge shame if the game sloughed off more players because of monotony and stability issues that weren't addressed quickly enough.

These coming months are crucial for the fate of Pokémon GO, and by extension, for Niantic. If Niantic does indeed launch a new game while Pokémon GO is still hurting for attention, reception towards the new game might not be friendly.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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