New Zealand film director Peter Jackson announced on Wednesday the sale of its Oscar-winning special effects business, Weta Digital, to a US software company that plans to use it to develop the virtual reality “Metaverse”.
San Francisco-based Unity Software said the $ 1.6 billion (approximately Rs.11,896 billion) acquisition would “shape the future of the metaverse,” an immersive 3D version of the Internet, the workplace and online -Should transform interactions.
The company said Weta technology – used in blockbusters such as the Lord of the Rings and Avatar trilogy – would enable its subscribers to create their own ultra-realistic corner of a virtual world.
“We are thrilled to democratize these industry-leading tools and bring to life the genius of Sir Peter Jackson and Weta’s amazing engineering talent for artists everywhere,” said Unity President John Riccitiello in a statement.
As part of the deal, Unity will acquire the technology and engineering assets of Weta Digital, based in Wellington, while Jackson will retain a majority stake in a standalone film effects company called WetaFX.
Jackson said the ability to take advantage of Weta’s groundbreaking programs is a “game changer” for those in the creative industry.
“Together, Unity and Weta Digital can pave a path for any artist in any industry to use these incredibly creative and powerful tools,” he said.
The Metaverse is intended to develop into an online platform that provides face-to-face virtual experiences – such as chatting with a friend or attending a concert.
It hit the headlines last month when Facebook changed its parent company’s name to Meta to reflect founder Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to the concept.
Zuckerberg’s firm has announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build the Metaverse, but other tech players are also trying to compete in the online world.
For example, the technology could allow someone to put on virtual reality glasses that make it feel like they are face-to-face with a friend – even though they are actually thousands of miles apart and connected via the Internet.
“The Metaverse has the potential to open up access to new creative, social and economic opportunities. And the Europeans will help shape it from the start, ”said Facebook in a blog post.
Zuckerberg predicted in July that Facebook would go from “primarily a social media company to a metaverse company” in the next five years.
Facebook bought Oculus, a company that makes virtual reality headsets, in 2014 for $ 2 billion (about Rs.14,870 billion) and has since developed Horizon, a digital world where people can interact with VR technology.