The Walt Disney company is the latest to reveal their plans to join the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft in the metaverse. High-Ho High-Ho, off to the metaverse is where all the big brands plan to go!
The new tech concept, a blending of the physical and digital worlds where people can interact virtually, is becoming a multibillion-dollar fixation for Silicon Valley executives.
Hollywood is taking note too, according to the Disney chief executive, Bob Chapek, who said on Wednesday the company was preparing to take the leap into virtual reality.
Referring to Disney’s history of innovation in storytelling, which includes the Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie, one of the first to feature synchronised sound, 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.”
Disney’s former executive vice-president of digital, Tilak Mandadi, wrote a LinkedIn post in 2020 about creating a theme park metaverse, where the “physical and digital world converge” through wearable devices and mobile phones.
Speaking during the company’s quarterly corporate results call, 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.”
Chapek gave no specific details of Disney’s plans on the results call, in keeping with a concept that is still very much in its early stages across the tech industry. However, he indicated in a further interview on CNBC on Wednesday that the company’s Disney+ streaming service would be involved.
In the interview, Chapek expressed that he saw it as an extension of Disney+, through the “three-dimensional canvas” he envisions for new types of storytelling, which could involve a cast of characters that ranges from Mickey Mouse to Snow White, Iron Man and Luke Skywalker.
Disney+, which has 118 million subscribers, has already launched a number of hit franchise spin-offs such as Star Wars adventure The Mandalorian and the Avengers series Wandavision.
The possibilities are endless. The idea of developing a more interactive way, as stated “allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse” is intriguing and inventive. Although in the early stages of development, the Disney metaverse is an exciting new experience that opens a door to a whole new world, with new levels of immersive entertainment.