Disney Metaverse Is Coming

It is no surprise that everyone to their grandma is talking about metaverse these days. What is a metaverse, you ask? A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds all interconnected and has shared functional assets that users could access through the internet and augmented reality devices.

Among big tech names like Facebook (now Meta), Microsoft, and so on have all announced their big plans to create their own metaverse to incorporate their services and tech. While Disney has been stealthily dipping their toes into the metaverse water with strategic partnerships since last year. Back in June of 2021, Marvel (a subsidiary of Disney) formed a partnership with VeVe to use their world-renowned IPs to create and sell on the platform. 

VeVe is an NFT marketplace that uses its own digital currency in the form of blue gems where users can exchange it with cash, credit, and other common fiat exchange methods. It focused on acquiring premium licenses to create digital collectibles to be sold in a variety of rarities and tiers. The platform focus on ease of use and low barrier of entry for those who are uninitiated in blockchain and NFT space.

The partnership between Veve and Marvel has been very lucrative for both parties where Disney has opened up more access to their massive IP collection – everything from Star Wars, The Simpsons, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney classic cartoon mascots. By late December, it was very public about the partnership and Disney’s continuous interest in this new venture.

Some may ask, why is Disney doing this? Many points toward the new CEO direction, Bob Chapek, and the pandemic. Let me elaborate. Bob Chapek took over the CEO position from Bob Iger in February 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Disney’s main bread-and-butter revenue streams of theme parks and movie box-office machines have been halted. Disney had massive layoffs in their organization as they restructure their focus on a new alternative stream of income. They’ve launched the Disney+ streaming service with momentum success with over a 100million subscriptions, which is half of Netflix’s total users. Chapek’s direction seems to be very open to trying new things similar their the former CEO, Bob Iger. 

Speaking at a cooperate meeting, Chapek added: “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.”

Even their former CEO, Bob Iger, has joined a startup focused on creating virtual goods for the metaverse called, Genies. Iger was at the helm of the house of the mouse for over a decade, where he ushered in some of the biggest acquisitions, technology-focused leaps, and growth in the company’s entire history. The Los Angeles-based startup has high hopes that Iger would be a bridge-builder toward world-class IPs acquisition. Genies have cased a wide net with brand partnerships; like Gucci, Warner Music, and celebrities’ collaborations.

Only time will tell how each of these metaverse projects will turn out but some of the key pieces are already starting to align. Disney being the entertainment titan they are, the expectation is high but with confidence they will create an outstanding metaverse experience.