- Disney has decided to close the division dedicated to the metaverse and has fired 50 workers who were focused on this project.
- In early 2022, Disney announced its intentions to join the metaverse, declaring in the words of Bob Chapek, CEO at the time, that the metaverse was “the next great narrative frontier.”
When Facebook announced its plans in the metaverse, which led to its name being changed to Meta, the industry was completely upended. The most famous projects saw an unimaginable bullish rally and many companies fully entered the digital world, including Disney, however, their path seems to have completely ended.
In a restructuring carried out by the company, As announced by the Wall Street Journal, decided to close the division dedicated to the metaverse and laid off 50 workers. In total, it is expected that in the next two months it will get rid of 7,000 employees and thus “reduce operating costs by $5.500 million dollars.”
This was the person in charge, as described CryptoNewsof “eFinding ways to tell interactive stories in new technological formats using Disney’s extensive library of intellectual property”. Management was headed by Mike White, who had previously been a consumer products executive at Disney.
Facebook’s announcement in the metaverse came at the end of 2021, just as cryptocurrencies were at their peak. In November of that year, Bitcoin hit its all-time high at $68,000 per unit. Four months after that, the creation of Walt Disney began its journey into the metaverse.
Bob Chapek, who was CEO at the time, called the metaverse “the next great storytelling frontier.” At the same time that in an internal message he had expressed to the employees that the objective was “create a whole new paradigm of how audiences experience and engage with our stories.”
More than a year after that, Disney did not show its progress or launch into the digital field in the way that perhaps they expected. This, possibly, is also one of the reasons why they decided to close the division and put an end to the work. A future return is not ruled out, although it definitely won’t be any time soon.
One of the assumptions the Wall Street Journal made is that the investigation was behind “fantasy sports, theme park attractions and other consumer experiences.” None of this was confirmed by the company.
The metaverse came as a conception of the future even though it seems to be past without even getting off the ground. The abandonment of Disney is added to that of Microsoft, which laid off all the personnel focused on Industrial Metaverse Core, and even that of Meta.
“In the short term, we will focus on creating creative and expressive tools. In the long term, we will focus on developing AI characters that can help people in various ways.“, highlighted Mark Zuckerberg in a post on February 27, making the change of position clear.
The irruption of AI, currently represented in ChatGPT, seems to be the new “fashion” in the sector, leaving the metaverse in oblivion. Although Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND), the most famous platforms, continue their work, progress is slow.
Decentraland alone recorded about $170,000 in land sales in February when the first month of 2022 had raised $7.7 million. Its token has also fallen hard, falling out of the top 40: it is worth $0.5791 when it peaked at $5.90 on November 25, 2021. SAND is not having a better time either and its token is trading today at $0.61, with an all-time high of $8.4421. The peak over the last year was $3.8289.
Just as the phrase “Bitcoin is dead” has been heard in each of the bear markets that the ecosystem has traversed, this concept could currently be applied to the metaverse. But… is the metaverse really dead?
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