This job listing expired on May 22, 2024

The Pokémon GO team is seeking a Lead Game Designer to help build compelling gameplay experiences that delight and engage our players. As a key member of the Creative team, you will encourage and craft well-rounded designs to enhance outdoor and social connections. You are committed to defining strategic goals and establishing conceptual directions using player experiences, feedback, and data. You love collaborating with peers and cross functional teams to guide reviews and development, ensuring projects are up to standard at each delivery milestone. You are driven to ensure the quality of the overall gameplay experience is engaging with our players and company goals from concept to completion. You will thoughtfully craft and release features that expand Pokémon Go’s unique brand identity to ensure Trainers continue to have fun and explore the real world!


  • Influence development strategies, future vision, and address sophisticated real world, geospatial game design problems.

  • Provide creative leadership to the design team by encouraging functional, technical, and advocate for “player first” quality designs that carry out what we value with an emphasis on simplicity.

  • Independently drives long term projects that scale across multiple teams and organizations.

  • Build and test new and existing features to ensure they meet design requirements and company objectives and key results.

  • Supervise design work across major feature investments, leading creative excellence across to deliver substantial gameplay experiences.

  • Work with leads and managers to identify new pitches and implement workflow improvements.

  • Build flexible, modular designs that will support a multitude of gameplay features.

  • Ensure all design represents our game, resonates with our audience, and unifies the brand experience.

  • Crafts, maintains, and optimizes concise documentation, templates, specs throughout the development life cycle for feature and system designs.

  • Develop new processes across the team and ensure they are shared and understood by the design and cross-functional teams.

  • Maintain cohesive strategies and brand experiences across the studio with product, marketing, live operations, and beyond.

  • Build reputation equity with external brand partners.

  • Encourage designers to be innovative by keeping up with industry trends and thinking of creative ways we can enhance Niantic’s emerging technology.

  • Review and leverage data to craft and adjust deep progression models with varied difficulty that gives value to a balanced economy.

  • Collaborate with cross-functional team members and stakeholders, including regular and reliable attendance and participation in meetings.

  • Required in-office 2 days on Wednesday and Thursday.


  • 8+ years of professional game design experience and released new innovative gameplay for live operation games, mobile, and/or AAA.

  • 3+ years of validated experience mentoring designers.

  • Bachelor's Degree in a related field or equivalent experience.

  • Strong ability to consult and lead downwards, upwards, and partner relationships for gameplay design.

  • Master of receiving and providing design direction and constructive feedback.

  • Experience working with original and brand IPs.

  • Expertise with game balance, spreadsheets, data, pacing, feature documentation, and monetizing virtual goods in a FTP model.

  • Possesses a comprehensive understanding of Game Metrics and Key Performance Indicators.

  • May be a principal individual contributor, rather than a manager.

  • Deep brand and design knowledge for Pokémon GO and the general Pokémon franchise (Level 40 and up preferred).

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced hybrid environment and handle stress appropriately and/or ability to solve practical problems and be sufficiently adaptable to handle dynamic situations with little advance notice.

  • Experience working on cross-functional teams with ability to communicate effectively through written and verbal communications, including synchronous interactions with others.

Plus If…

  • Bilingual in both English and Japanese.

  • Knowledge in JIRA and Unity.

  • Leadership training certifications.

  • Experience with AR games or features.

  • Experience building tools.

The total compensation package for this position includes a new hire offer base salary range of $167,000 - $194,000 + bonus + equity + benefits.

Individual pay within this salary range is determined by work location and additional factors, including assessed job-related skills, experience, and relevant education or training. Your recruiter can answer any questions about new hire total compensation during the hiring process. An overview of benefit offerings for your location can be found on the careers page.

Join the Niantic team!

Niantic's global-scale augmented reality platform and digital map powers spatial computing experiences in the real world. Incubated out of the Maps team at Google, Niantic first created Ingress and then Pokémon GO, a cultural phenomenon and hit game played by tens of millions of people each month. Niantic’s Lightship platform, which powers Pokémon GO, also supports the company's other games including Pikmin Bloom, Peridot and Monster Hunter Now. Developers use Niantic’s platform to build their own AR applications and experiences, either with the Lightship Platform or directly through the web with 8th Wall.

We believe that cultivating a workplace where our people are supported and included is essential to creating great products our community will love. Our mission emphasizes seeking and hiring diverse voices, including those who are traditionally underrepresented in the technology industry, and we consider this to be one of the most important values we hold close.

Niantic is a hybrid first company. We believe that in person interaction and collaboration fosters creativity, a sense of community, and is critical to our future success as a company. Our hybrid work schedules allow for a mix of remote and in-office work.

We're a hard-working, fun, and exciting group who value intellectual curiosity and a passion for problem-solving! We have growing offices located in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Bellevue, Kansas, London, Tokyo, Hamburg, Hyderabad, and Zurich.