Disney starts to decode its metaverse plans
Future. Disney’s metaverse plans could reportedly be more Web3-centered than digital worlds-focused, blending together the company’s theme park and hospitality attractions with digital platforms like Disney+ and the Disney app. Jury’s still out on how it all will eventually land, but expect the company’s push into wearable technology to be at the center of those plans.
The All-Magic Key
Disney’s plan to bring its magic to the metaverse may be less focused on a new reality than originally believed.
- Instead of creating a virtual world (like Meta), Disney’s more focused on merging its physical and digital experiences (like Niantic) in order to create more of that business-favorite buzzword “synergy” across its assets.
- According to the L.A. Times, this could mean that Disney could merge functions on Disney+ and the Disney app’s navigation feature, Genies, to merge filmed content with rides at the park.
- And like every other entertainment company at this point, Disney has dipped its toes into NFTs, which could easily work its way into the commerce capabilities of the studio’s plans.
While none of those possibilities have been confirmed by Disney, insiders report that Mike White, senior vice president of next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences, has been meeting with execs across the company to discuss initial ideas.
On an earnings call last November, CEO Bob Chapek said that Disney was ready for “our own” metaverse, claiming in February to CNBC that it was the “third dimension of the canvas” for the company. Hinting at what the L.A. Times reports, Chapek said that “we have something that no one else has, and that’s the physical world, a world of our parks. And so, if the metaverse is the blending of the physical and the digital in one environment, who can do it better than Disney?”
It’s not a stretch to imagine that the fully-immersed virtual world will one day be more front-of-mind for Disney (when that tech does eventually mature). In that case, it won’t be hard to imagine Disney capitalizing on its deep bench of characters as avatars to guide users through branded experiences. If Chapek and former CEO Bob Iger were on better terms, the company could turn to the Iger-invested Genies to make that happen.