Disney has fired its entire metaverse division of around 50 employees, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.
While most people are still unsure what the metaverse is, Disney has abandoned plans to investigate it as part of the roughly 7,000 layoffs that will affect the entire company.
Mike White, who led Disney’s metaverse team, will reportedly remain with the company, though his new role is unknown.
Following Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s bold new plan to focus on the metaverse in October 2021, even changing the company’s name to Meta to emphasise his commitment to that vision, Disney’s metaverse division, dubbed “next-generation storytelling” by former CEO Bob Chapek, was established in February 2022.
Despite Disney’s suggestion that the new technology could be used in fantasy sports, theme park events, and other consumer experiences, details about the company’s metaverse strategy remained a mystery a full year after the division was established.
Disney announced in February that it will make $5.5 billion in cuts and lay off nearly 7,000 employees as part of a larger reorganisation plan. According to Bloomberg on February 9, several large media corporations have felt the effects of economic headwinds, fierce competition in streaming, and declining earnings from cable TV and the movie box office.