That Disney metaverse? That won’t happen

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That Disney metaverse?  That won’t happen

Disney had big plans for its own metaverse, but that is not happening now. It has closed down the division responsible for that metaverse. In a massive company-wide round of layoffs, 7,000 jobs will be cut, many of which will be particularly hard on the team responsible for Disney’s upcoming metaverse. Or well, it’s not coming anymore metaverse from the mouse house.

Big round of layoffs at Disney

Wall Street Journal writes about the imminent round of layoffs: CEO Bob Iger would plan to start the layoffs as early as this week. It’s a major setback for Web3 fans, as the department responsible for future storytelling is being fired in its entirety. A shame, because with the enormous history of Disney you could put a lot of stories in a hypermodern new jacket.

Bob Iger is here to bring changes to the company, and it’s clear he’s not sparing his predecessor. The previous CEO, Bob Chapek, had the metaverse high on his agenda. The idea was to create a whole new way of how audiences would experience Disney’s stories. It would even be the new ‘frontier’ of storytelling and an ideal showcase for Disney to show how they tell stories in all kinds of ways.

Metaverse Plans

Ever since Facebook called itself Meta, Disney was already working on that metaverse. However, the idea that the metaverse will soon become the way we experience the internet is dwindling more and more. Meta itself puts less money into its metaverse, which is not received enthusiastically by everyone anyway (at least, the first phase of it). In the end, Iger seemed to like the metaverse: he even invested in Genies Inc, an avatar startup.

It’s not likely that Disney will completely abandon the metaverse, but it’s probably a little too early and too costly to have an entire team on it right now. Disney needs to cut $5.5 billion and then a brand new innovation like the metaverse, which we’ll see how it goes from there, is probably too big a gamble, even for a rich and powerful company like Disney. No matter how much money you have you can only spend it on x number of things and there is clearly no room for web3 developments right now.

Disney Infinity

However, other teams could still work on these types of applications: that has not been said. Disney would probably be wise to first see how Meta is doing: there are not many companies that invest as much money in the metaverse as Meta, and watching the cat from the aristocat out of the tree is also for a big fish like Disney probably just as sensible. At the same time, it has also proven in the past to make successful games to which you can quickly add a metaverse-like construction. Think, for example, of Disney Infinity with all its physical figures to collect, but also the game in which you could walk through Disneyland via Kinect was very cool and we see something like this a bit as the foreland for a metaverse for Disney.

However, maybe Disney wanted to do things very differently. Maybe it just wanted to build on the metaverse of Meta, or it was planning to take an even more futuristic approach (Tron is also a Disney movie, after all). It’s all guesswork. Disney’s plans for the metaverse have never been leaked, much less imaged. Whether that will ever happen, remains to be seen. In any case, it is not something Disney can concern itself with for the time being.

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