Disney Lays Off Metaverse Team: Report

Fifty people have lost their jobs as Disney disbands its next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences unit as part a company-wide staff reduction.

AccessTimeIconMar 28, 2023 at 5:32 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:11 a.m. UTC
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Disney is questioning the continued value of Web3.

The company is in the process of laying off 7,000 staff in an attempt to control costs and develop what CEO Bob Iger calls a “streamlined” business. The cuts include its metaverse team, with its 50-strong headcount being let go, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Disney began developing its metaverse strategy in mid-2022, announcing that Polygon had been picked as Disney’s blockchain of choice. Disney appeared to ramp up its resource deployment for the effort in September of that year with a job posting for specialized in-house counsel for non-fungible tokens (NFT) and decentralized finance (DeFi).

Disney's metaverse plans were still unclear a year later, according to the WSJ.

The position Disney was looking to hire called for an experienced corporate attorney to "work on transactions involving emerging technologies, including NFTs, blockchain, metaverse and decentralized finance."

In October 2021, Citi released a report that said Disney, alongside Electronic Arts and WWE, was expected to be one of the largest beneficiaries of non-fungible tokens.

Most metaverse majors appeared to be unaffected by the news. Decentraland’s MANA token is up 1% in the last hour, while The Sandbox’s SAND is flat.

Edited by Greg Ahlstrand.

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