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Niantic CEO Says Staff Should Double by This Time Next Year

Photo Credit: Polygon/Pokemon

If you’re one of the more pragmatic Pokémon GO players out there who just wants a clean game experience with some added features here and there and a consistently improving user experience, then Niantic has some good news for you.

Photo Credit: GIPHY

Credit: GIPHY

Media analyst David Cole sees real potential for Pokémon GO in the coming year, as long as they stay realistic about their expected user base:

“The potential is there for it to have a fairly long life. I think you’ll see waves, where you have some type of event that gets people back, and you have a smaller core user base the rest of the time. But that’s fairly typical and it’s fine. You don’t expect to see the full user base again.”

I mean, who would expect all 500 million of those people who downloaded to stay active?

But, even if only 1% of that initial 500 million stays on as active users, (and that’s a pretty conservative number), you’ve still got a user base of 5 million people.

And even though Niantic has doubled in size since this time last year and quadrupled their customer service staff since the launch, they’re going to need more people to keep this thing flowing.

North Bridge Times

Photo Credit: North Bridge Times

CMO Mike Quigley told gameindustry.biz that they are definitely looking to double their staff, but they aren’t looking to waste money.

“But that’s us going from about 70 right now, to being within the 140 to 150 range by the middle of next year. We want to be mindful of cost and how we scale. We are growing but doing so responsibly and carefully, so that we don’t get ahead of ourselves.”

As unprecedented and chaotic as this roll-out might seem from the outside, the folks at Niantic are taking it all in stride as best they can, and things aren’t as new to them as they might seem to us:

“Most people don’t know this, but this is our CEO John Hanke’s fourth start-up. With that experience, he is very, very thoughtful about how, when and where we invest. …

Pokémon GO turned out to be beyond our wildest expectations, but if it had just gone mediocre, we’d still would have been OK. It is a marathon, not a sprint. We have the patience to take that long view.”

So, if you were worried about Niantic either not having the staff to handle the coming 2nd Gen or whatever else the game might have in store, it seems like they’ve got that covered.

And, if you were worried about the other side of the coin: that Niantic might blow its wad by over-hiring staff or trying to get too cute, know that they have some thoughtful and experienced people at the helm.

I mean, who knows what the future will bring, but this definitely isn’t that Kickstarter you contributed to that never shipped.

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