Disney has halted its metaverse plans, as it has axed its metaverse development team. The company joins many other major companies in implementing cost-cutting measures.
Disney has axed its metaverse development team to save on costs, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the situation.
According to the media outlet, the company is implementing a broad restructuring, with roughly 7,000 people expected to be let go over the next months.
Corporate Cost-Cutting Measures Across Industries
Disney’s metaverse team consisted of 50 individuals, all of whom have seen their positions terminated, though the team’s head, Mike White, will continue in an unknown capacity. Disney made headlines in 2022 when it announced its plans for metaverse experiences and even implied that this new form of engagement would create a new standard for entertainment.
Disney is not alone in implementing cost-cutting measures, as several other corporations have done the same during this anxious period for the global economy. Meta, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and others have also laid off thousands of employees. This does not bode well for an economy that the COVID-19 pandemic quite recently battered.
Job losses are a major theme of 2023 as far as global businesses are concerned. Those that have conducted layoffs in the crypto industry include Coinbase, Polygon, and Immutable.
As the company in charge of some of the biggest franchises in the world, many will lament Disney’s decision to stop the metaverse. The company had laid out some fairly detailed plans, but now it remains to be seen if and when it will restart those intentions.
Disney Was Initially Enthusiastic About the Metaverse
Reports in 2022 spoke of how Disney’s metaverse plans would set the foundation for interaction with audiences for the next 100 years. The company has the IP and the technology to potentially reach hundreds of millions of users (if not billions), and the hype was possibly the highest there ever was for a metaverse initiative.
It also obtained a patent for an amusement park in the metaverse, much to the jubilation of the crypto community. The company also posted a job vacancy related to NFTs. More recently, it reappointed Bob Iger as CEO, who is pro-metaverse.
The company’s stock price is currently consolidating near long-term lows of around $95 per share.
Tech Companies Withdrawing
Metaverse departments appear at the top of the list for many companies that are working on cost reduction. Meta and Microsoft have both either ended their metaverse plans or scaled them down immensely.
Meta is going through a “year of efficiency,” according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as its Reality Labs department imposes high costs on the company. Microsoft shut down its entire industrial metaverse team, which had about 100 employees.
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