Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Disney intends to become the happiest place in the metaverse

Mickey Mouse is getting ready to enter the metaverse. Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the company is poised to take the technological leap into a virtual reality world first imagined by science fiction writers.

Since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that its future would be devoted to establishing a robust, three-dimensional environment where users’ digital avatars could work, hang out, and pursue their hobbies, it has become a popular location. Other major corporations, including game developers Roblox Corp and Epic Games and software behemoth Microsoft Corp, are developing their metaverses. Aside from mentioning a phrase that has enthralled Silicon Valley, Disney’s strategy was noticeably lacking in specifics.

On Wednesday, Chapek told investors that Disney’s foray into the digital realm is in keeping with the company’s long history of technological innovation, which dates back almost a century to Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon to have synchronized sound.

“Our efforts to date are merely a prologue to a time when we’ll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling, without boundaries in our own Disney Metaverse,” Chapek said during Disney’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

Through the “three-dimensional canvass” he envisions for new sorts of storytelling, Chapek sees it as an extension of streaming video service Disney+.

Tilak Mandadi, Disney’s former senior vice president of digital, wrote on LinkedIn in 2020 about developing a theme park metaverse in which the “real and digital worlds collide” via wearable gadgets, smartphones, and digital access points.

Disney’s digital forays haven’t all ended happily. Club Penguin, the company’s online children’s social network, was shut down in 2017 after 11 years. Its debut into social gaming in 2010, when it paid $563.2 million for Playdom, resulting in a write-down. Its $500 million acquisition of Maker Studios in 2014 to capitalize on the exploding popularity of short-form YouTube videos resulted in the operation being integrated into other parts of the company.

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BRL Editor
BRL Editor
Business Review Live covers finance, technology, travel, lifestyle, and everything in between through exclusive interviews and analysis, market statistics, digital video, and an expanded array of content formats.