New Delhi: Joining a growing number of companies preparing their own virtual reality worlds, Disney has also declared its intention to enter the metaverse — the latest buzzword in silicon valley and on the internet.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said their decision to enter the metaverse world is consistent with the company’s long history of adopting new technologies, according to media reports.
The announcement was made during Disney’s quarterly earnings call.
“Our efforts to date are merely a prologue to a time when we’ll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds 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,” Chapek was quoted as saying.
He envisions the plan as an extension of Disney+, the streaming video service, through the “three-dimensional canvass”, Chapek told CNBC.
Tilak Mandadi, former executive vice president of Digital, and Chief Technology Officer at Disney wrote on LinkedIn in 2020 that people can expect Disney to create a “theme park metaverse”, where everyone can experience the digital world through wearables, smartphones, and digital access points.
He added: “The metaverse experiences are driven by technologies like computer vision, natural language understanding, AR, AI, and IoT – technologies that, while enabling the experiences, never get in the way of the experience itself.”
Disneyland calls itself the “happiest place on earth”.
Disney’s Previous Ventures To Converge Real And Virtual Worlds
Disney launched Disney Movies VR in 2016, which provides an immersive experience of Disney worlds from Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. One can experience this virtual reality by donning the Meta’s Oculus VR Headsets.
However, many of Disney’s earlier digital ventures have failed. For instance, Club Penguin, a multiplayer online game launched by Disney in 2006, was shut down in 2017 because interest in the game continuously declined.
In 2010, Disney purchased Playdom for $563.2 million, but announced the closure of the remaining Playdom games, Marvel: Avengers Alliance and its mobile sequel in September 2016, causing the social gaming venture to shut down.
Others Planning Metaverse Entry
The term metaverse was first coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 Novel, “Snow Crash”. The concept of a virtual world is now becoming a reality with companies after companies announce their intention to enter the metaverse.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that the company is rebranding itself to ‘Meta’, to focus on its efforts to build the metaverse and to be recognized as a metaverse company. Gaming companies Roblox and Epic Games, and software giant Microsoft, are also working on their own metaverse projects. More companies are expected to venture into the “next version of the internet”.
The metaverse is the fully immersive, 3D version of the internet, expected to become a reality in the next decade. In the metaverse, digital avatars will enable people to float in space, and interact with each other.
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