I heard about Ingress when it first started, and I predicted at the time it would go nowhere because it was relying on the community to submit portals. I was completely wrong, but I was surprised once I started playing – they actually reviewed each submission and approved or rejected them, not in a timely fashion, but that was the process. The quality of them, all things considered, is pretty high.
Then, a couple of things have happened recently.
- Niantic gets spun off from Google. Part of some corporate restructuring. Rumors swirl that it’s because whatever “Greater Google” wanted to get out of Ingress, it didn’t happen.
- Layoffs happen at the now-separate Niantic, as well as new people being hired. Translation : Get rid of the higher salary people, and rehire cheaper ones.
- Today, new portal submissions have been suspended.
When I read the tea leaves, I get that Niantic is in a bit of trouble. They have some serious staffing costs here, what with the events they put on globally, whoever keeps their back end systems working, that girl that does the Ingress reports that I never watch – and paying the portal monkeys to sift through portal submissions. You can cut costs if you cease to process new portals.
Anyone want to argue there are not enough portals in their area ? I sure don’t. Everywhere I’ve gone there are portals, from campgrounds to little hamlets and to roadside stands. So it’s not that I see a gameplay problem, rather I wonder if the game will last long enough for me to…. I don’t know. Get to Level 16 ? Get bored and quit ? Get all Onyx badges ?
Will I manage to reach the point where I’ve finished the game ? Or is it going to get shut down; or be a zombie like War Worlds. The game was supposed to shut down last year, it’s apparently limping along still.