Disney Reportedly Shuts Down its Metaverse Division to Cut Operating Expenses
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Disney reportedly plans to lay off 7,000 people to cut operating expenses by $5.5 billion.
The company will close its metaverse division as part of the transformation.
Entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. reportedly shuts down its metaverse division.
The division, aimed at the development of metaverse strategies, was called the “Next Generation Storytelling Creative Experiences at Disney.” Mike White, the former executive of the Media and Entertainment Distribution group, is the senior vice president of the innovative department.
The decision follows Disney’s plans to lay off 7,000 people in the next two months. The company aims to cut operating expenses by $5.5 billion, and closing the metaverse division is one of the cost-cutting opportunities. More than 50 members of the department will have to find new jobs.
Disney introduced its metaverse division in February 2022. Last year, the company seemed to believe in emerging technologies and was broadening the department. In June 2022, the entertainment giant hired Mark Bozon, a former Apple executive, to lead the creative metaverse strategy of Disney. Bozon previously worked for Apple Arcade, the App Store, IGN, and Electronic Gaming Monthly. In September, Disney also listed a “corporate lawyer for NFTs and metaverse” job position.
Generally speaking, Disney executives were bullish about virtual worlds and technologies – Robert Iger became an advisor of the digital avatar startup Genies, while the former executive Bob Chapek called the metaverse “the next great storytelling frontier.”
In July 2022, Disney also launched a startup accelerator program that focused on its “next-generation storytelling efforts.”
However, it seems the company has since lost its enthusiasm over the metaverse and new technologies and is now scaling down its efforts to enter web3.
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