Multinational entertainment and media conglomerate Disney, has appointed Mike White as an executive who will specifically lead its metaverse strategy.
White has been with the firm for over 10 years and will oversee a team that includes other senior leaders.
Chief executive of Disney Bob Chapek, stated in a memo to staff that the metaverse is “the next great storytelling frontier” to explore. He went on to describe the metaverse as a “perfect place to pursue our strategic pillars of storytelling excellence, innovation, and audience focus. Teams across the company are exploring this new canvas, and I have been blown away by what I’ve seen,” he said.
White, who is set to become Disney’s senior vice president for Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experience will see to the allocation of resources, exploring partnerships and encouraging knowledge sharing on the metaverse.
Disney said it sees the metaverse as the next evolution of its almost 100-year-old storytelling tradition. “Today, we have an opportunity to connect those universes and create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories,” said Mr Chapek.
The multinational entertainment giants also noted that sales at its US theme parks had skyrocketed above pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, it gained 11.8 million new Disney+ subscribers in the last three months of 2021, amassing more than 129 million subscribers worldwide.
Tech giants such as Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia have lavished billions of dollars into perfecting the metaverse, an online world where people can work, communicate and play games in a virtual environment using VR headsets.
The metaverse is labelled ‘the future of the internet’ by some of the world’s biggest tech companies. So far Meta appears to have made the biggest bet on the metaverse by not only changing its corporate name from Facebook to Meta Platforms but plans to spend more than $10 billion in developing virtual reality software and hardware.
Microsoft, on the other hand, aims to add 3D virtual avatars and environments to its Team Chat system. With more behemoth companies like Disney joining the metaverse race, it’s really starting to look like the future of the internet.
Disney moving into the ever-growing metaverse space makes it only the latest household name to join the burgeoning technology. It, alongside pioneers like Microsoft, Nvidia, Niantic and Meta, will surely help shape the space for the future”