While many companies have been trying to tap into the Metaverse, big companies such as Disney are struggling to deliver.
Disney has seemingly cut its entire Metaverse division in first round of layoffs
Disney has reportedly cut its Metaverse division in what is expected to be the company’s first round of layoffs. According to the Wall Street Journal, the 50-person team was intended to lead the company’s entry into the Metaverse, the next generation of storytelling, before it was axed as part of Disney’s broader restructuring.
The publication reported that, in three rounds of layoffs, Disney plans to drop a total of 7,000 employees to reduce $5.5 billion of its costs. The layoff plans began with the elimination of the storytelling and consumer experiences unit, which was exploring Metaverse strategies for Disney.
Disney initially announced its goal to join the Metaverse last February. Back then, former CEO Bob Charek appointed Mike White to head up the Metaverse unit. The team’s function was to find ways of telling interactive stories using Disney’s library of intellectual property.
Charek originally circulated the news of Disney joining the Metaverse in a memo, which the company shared with the publication. “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,” Charek said in the memo. “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.”
Disney announced some restructuring towards the end of last year
However, when Bob Iger replaced Charek at the helm, this led to plans – initially announced last November – to restructure the company. The restructuring includes consolidating TV branches and divisions, which led to the elimination of the Metaverse unit. The second round of layoffs will reportedly happen in April, with the third round set to occur during the summer.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Disney isn’t the only company struggling to tap into the big, bad Metaverse. Meta – the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – has had difficulty with getting users to adopt the Metaverse technology.
Despite ongoing struggles in the adoption of the Metaverse, many companies see the technology as the future of computing,