Niantic Commits $5M to Support Black Gaming & AR Creators


The Niantic blog has been updated with a lengthy post from CEO John Hanke about how it is addressing the ongoing protests around the world due to the recent killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hanke writes that the company is committed to making Niantic a “force for good in the world” and spends the rest of the blog addressing the plans being put into place.

“We think the next area where we can make a powerful, scalable impact is through the culture, ideas, and role models we help to create. To achieve that, we are going to fund projects from Black creators and will bring the best of those creations to a mass audience where they can shine a light on characters, stories, and points of view that validate the lives and experiences of the Black community.”

To that end, the company will be doing several things to align with its goals:

  • All proceeds from the Pokemon GO Fest 2020 ticket sales will be donated. Half of the money will go to fund new projects from Black gaming and AR creators. The other half will be donated to several American nonprofit organizations helping communities rebuild. The company has committed to a minimum $5M donation.
  • $100,000 will be donated to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute that supports the trans community. “In honor of the Black Lives Matter movement and of Pride Month, the Diversity and Inclusion team and the executive leadership team believe this donation is the right thing to do to support those who are most vulnerable to police brutality and other systems of oppression.”
  • New Diversity and Inclusion training is being developed to focus on “allyship training”.
  • A deeper commitment to Treehouse that diversifies tech by making education more accessible.
  • An expanded partnership with Gameheads, a group that teaches kids about game development from start to finish.
  • Adding 5 flex days for employees to either volunteer in community projects or to attend live events.

Check out the full blog post on the Niantic official site.

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