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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Disney reportedly eliminates metaverse division in first spherical of layoffs

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Disney’s subsequent era storytelling and client experiences division, which had been exploring how the corporate might enter the so-called metaverse, has been eradicated according to The Wall Street Journal. The group is assumed to have been made up of round 50 staff, and was exploring how Disney might use its current mental property in what former CEO Bob Chapek known as “the subsequent nice storytelling frontier.”

The division was introduced internally final February

Disney introduced its metaverse ambitions to its staff last February — 4 months after Facebook renamed itself to Meta — when then-CEO Bob Chapek appointed Mike White to steer the subsequent era storytelling unit. White, who shouldn’t be thought to have been impacted by the layoffs, has labored at Disney for over a decade. His LinkedIn profile notes that he initially began within the firm’s Disney Interactive video video games division. 

“For almost 100 years, our firm has outlined and re-defined leisure by leveraging expertise to carry tales to life in deeper, extra impactful methods,” Chapek stated within the memo final yr. “Right now, we’ve a possibility to attach these universes and create a completely new paradigm for the way audiences expertise and interact with our tales… That is the so-called metaverse.” It’s unclear precisely what experiences the group was engaged on, however WSJ notes that they may have concerned “fantasy sports activities, theme-park sights and different client experiences.”

Disney didn’t instantly reply to The Verge’s request for remark.

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Though the cuts have taken place underneath Iger, he seems to be removed from a metaverse-skeptic, with WSJ noting that he sits on the board of a startup, Genies Inc, that’s centered on serving to customers create avatars.

Disney isn’t the one firm struggling to ship on massive metaverse ambitions. Even Meta has struggled to construct adoption of its expertise. Its first main VR headset launch after the rebrand, the Meta Quest Pro, was horrible, and its Actuality Labs division reported an operating loss of $13.72 billion last year

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