Disney wants to be the happiest place in the world … and the metaverse

Mickey Mouse he’s ready to venture into the metaverse.

Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the entertainment conglomerate is preparing to give the technological leap into a virtual reality world first imagined by science fiction writers.

It is a very popular destination these days, ever since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the future of his company would be dedicated to creating a robust, three-dimensional environment in which users’ digital avatars would work, pass hang out and pursue their hobbies.

Other large companies, such as video game makers Roblox Corp and Epic Games and the software giant Microsoft, they are working on their own metaverses. Disney’s plan was notably lacking in detail, beyond spouting a buzzword that has animated Silicon Valley.

Chapek told investors Wednesday that stepping into this new digital frontier is consistent with Disney’s long history of technological innovation, stretching back nearly a century, with Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon with synchronized sound.

“Our efforts to date are but the prologue to a time when we will be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, enabling limitless storytelling on our own. metaverso from Disney, “Chapek said during Disney’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

In an interview with CNBC, Chapek said he sees it as an extension of the Disney + streaming video service, through the “three-dimensional canvas” he envisions for new types of storytelling.

Former Disney Executive Vice President of Digital Tilak Mandadi wrote on LinkedIn in 2020 about creating a theme park metaverse, in which “the physical and digital worlds converge” via accessories and smartphones and hotspots. digital.

Not all of Disney’s digital forays have had a happy ending.

Your online children’s social network, club Penguin, closed in 2017, after 11 years. His entry into social gaming, through the purchase of Playdom for $ 563.2 million in 2010, resulted in a loss in value.

His efforts to take advantage of the growing popularity of short videos from YouTube, through the acquisition of Maker Studios for $ 500 million in 2014, led to the takeover of the operation by other parts of the company.


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