How long does it take for the House of Mouse to decide the metaverse isn’t worth it? Roughly a year, apparently, as Disney has handed 7,000 employees a pink slip, including the 50 employees who were hired for its metaverse division.
The so-called “Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences team” was formed last November with the task of creating “applications in fantasy sports, theme-park attractions and other consumer experiences” – or in other words, trying to give form to the nebulous metaverse idea. The team was headed by longtime Disney exec Mike White, who will be shuffled to some other position within the company while the regular employees are cut.
The 7,000 employee slashing is part of Disney’s wider plan to cut costs as the company’s first quarter earnings took a major hit. Meanwhile, Disney is apparently now going to shift its focus to developing emotionally intelligent AI robots for its theme parks. Sure, why not.