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Pokémon Go co-dev Very Very Spaceship lays off staff

It's unknown if Very Very Spaceship's cuts have anything to do with Pokémon Go and Niantic or are of the studio's own accord.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 2, 2024

1 Min Read
Promo image for Niantic's Pokemon Go.
Image via Niantic/Nintendo.

At a Glance

  • Along with teaming with Niantic, Very Very Spaceship is making its own original game.

Various staff members were laid off at Very Very Spaceship, the Seattle-based studio that handles "tentpole features" for Pokémon Go.

While specific numbers haven't been revealed, those affected include producers, recruiters, and artists, who have reportedly been at VVS for three-to-five years.

Very Very Spaceship's most recent claim to Pokémon Go fame is the game's updated character creator. Senior character artist Kelsey Martin expressed pride in it, noting the changes "made it more inclusive and expressive for players."

Similarly, HR manager Sara Carmen said that despite her sadness, she won't allow it to "take away from all the amazing work I did, or the team I built."

At time of writing, it's unknown what prompted Very Very Spaceship's layoffs, and how it affects its current Niantic partnership or the development of its own original title.

Game Developer has reached out to Very Very Spaceship, and will update when a response is given.

April layoffs bring May layoffs

As with previous months, May is starting off with a number of layoffs across big and small studios. On May 1, mobile developer Balka Games revealed it was cutting 20 percent (aka 33 employees) of its headcount.

Publisher Take-Two came out with two sets of layoffs: Rollerdrome developer Roll7 is reportedly closing down entirely, as is Intercept, makers of the Kerbal Space Program series.

Earlier today, Galaga Wars maker Paladin Studios revealed it will close down after a 19-year run. Like VVS, the Dutch-based studio mainly operated as a co-developer on other games.

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About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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