Disney Has Eliminated Their Metaverse Division
With sweeping layoffs looming on the horizon at Disney, the company has reportedly decided to eliminate its next generation storytelling and consumer experiences division.
As part of a company wide mandate to eliminate 7,000 jobs, the division and its 50 employees have been axed.
Disney and the Metaverse
Disney originally announced its intent to further explore and mine the “metaverse” in February 2022. In a memo to company employees, then CEO-Bob Chapek introduced the new division.
“For nearly 100 years, our company has defined and re-defined entertainment by leveraging technology to bring stories to life in deeper, more impactful ways,” Chapek said in the memo last year. “Today, we have an opportunity to connect those universes and create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories… This is the so-called metaverse.”
In a more practical way, the Wall Street Journal noted that the team’s work could have involved “fantasy spots, theme-park attractions and other consumer experiences”.
Since the time of the division’s creation, optimism about a future in the metaverse has waned. Even Facebook, which renamed its company Meta to emphasize a focus on the future in the virtual world, has since shifted its attention to AI.
More Layoffs Coming
Over the next few weeks, Disney in expected to announce widespread layoffs which will affect every division of the company. While some employees have welcomed the chance at a severance package, these are uncertain times for many.
Despite the onslaught of layoffs, metaverse team lead Mike White will stay with the company.
The longtime Disney employee will be remaining with the company, although his next role has not been announced.
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