But that's assuming Niantic games and staff are separate from each other. There's overlap with the staff regardless if they focus on Ingress.
They wouldn't have introduced CORE if it seems they're going to use millions a year. That seems more of a lot potential with PoGo over the years.
I don't even think we could get an estimate on its cost during Google as they most likely have a broader category when looking at their yearly reports with expenses.
It's not the agents' fault that niantic has failed to find profitable markets for location data and usage patterns of ingress players or other sponsor relationships. The agents would presumably "do enough" if those efforts were more fruitful.
Now they are leaning more heavily onto agents. If niantic would provide a tiny sliver of transparency (besides vague references), it's possible that more agents would understand and subscribe. Still, I can't imagine that more agents will core subscribe even if it were cheaper.
Perhaps we've already seen peak core, but would never know it because no info is shared.
It's not the agents' fault that niantic has failed to find profitable markets for location data and usage patterns of ingress players or other sponsor relationships
a) Niantic doesn't sell our data and the majority of players prefer that. Changing that policy would result in far more player losses.
b) Niantic has failed to properly monetize the game, partly because of the player backlash whenever they try, and partly because they never listen to the things we want to buy. Subscriptions were one of those things, and I'm sure they helped, but they aren't enough at this point, and things like selling X8s (not R8s, they're fine to sell) cause more negative outcomes than positives.
They also failed to properly capitalize on the Rare Kinetic and just sell them instead of making them hackable.
Niantic is 100% at fault for not making the game profitable, but again, I'm not arguing that. I'm pointing out that submitting portals in 2014 does not pay the 2022 bills.