The company’s massive collection of original IPs could make for the ultimate metaverse experience.
To the metaverse and beyond! The Walt Disney Company has announced that they will be joining Mark Zuckerberg in creating their own branded metaverse by connecting the physical and digital worlds using Disney’s collection of IPs universe. This includes iconic characters like Buzz Lightyear and Princess Elsa to big franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, The Muppets, Disney Animation Studios, and so much more.
Disney has been experimenting with VR/AR development for some time now. In 2018, the Disney Imagineers created PoseVR, an animation tool that let Disney animators create in VR. They also developed an AR puppeteering tool called MotionStick, a “force jacket” capable of generating physical feedback in VR, and even launched an AR app that layers Star Destroyers over famous landmarks around the world.
Disney has also created some pretty stellar VR experiences with their awesome Vader Immortal series and Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge, both made for the Oculus (Meta) Quest.
Just recently, ILMxLAB and Facebook teamed up to bring a preview of Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge to the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort.
During a Disney corporate results call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said, “The Walt Disney Company has a long track record as an early adopter in the use of technology to enhance the entertainment experience,” adding, “Our efforts to date are merely a prologue to a time when we’ll be able to connect the physical and digital world even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse, and we look forward to creating unparalleled opportunities for consumers to experience everything Disney has to offer across our products and platforms, wherever the consumer may be.”
At the moment there are no specific details regarding Disney’s metaverse or even the types of technology they plan on using, but you can bet your Mickey Mouse hat that legacy characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Cinderella, as well as popular Disney Plus characters such as The Mandalorian and Loki, will make an appearance.
Disney Plus currently has around 118 million subscribers. Disney views the metaverse as a potential way to increase its subscription numbers while, simultaneously, marking their stake in the growing VR/AR industry.
When Zuckerberg discussed his vision of the metaverse during Facebook’s Connect event, he did say that Facebook’s vision of the metaverse will not be built by one single company: “It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies.”
Much like how Walt Disney envisioned his innovative theme park immersing visitors in a place of joy and imagination, Chapek sees the metaverse stretching beyond what Walt Disney could ever imagine; a world filled with unlimited possibilities and potential.
Feature Image Credit: Disney