Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Unity just made a blockbuster purchase with massive metaverse implications

Unity, the 3D development platform used to create video games, has entered an agreement to acquire Weta Digital, the visual effects studio behind films like Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and more. The $1.625 billion purchase is a massive move with serious metaverse implications.

The two companies have entered a “definitive agreement,” which will see Unity acquiring Weta’s “tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent.” Unity will gain proprietary graphics and VFX tools that have been used to make some of Hollywood’s biggest movies, and it plans to make them available to creators down the line.

Related Videos

While Unity will gain the tools, Weta’s VFX teams will continue to operate as a standalone entity called WetaFX. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson will retain majority ownership of WetaFX alongside CEO Prem Akkaraju.

Exploring the possibilities with Weta Digital | Unity

A press release about the deal sheds some light on Unity’s long-term goal here: Shaping the “future of the metaverse.” The metaverse has been a hot topic in recent weeks thanks to Facebook — or Meta, as it’s now known. The company changed its name to emphasize its focus on building the metaverse, a more lived-in digital space. While Meta fired a very public shot, the concept of the metaverse has already existed for years in the video game world. Companies like Epic Games have led the charge, using games like Fortnite to get players used to spending more time in a virtual space with its own currency, events, and more.

Unity’s power-play is another key example of how serious the video game world is about creating the metaverse. The acquisition will give Unity users access to more powerful 3D tools that can be used to make more sophisticated video games, but the potential stretches far beyond entertainment. Weta’s tools could be used to create powerful digital experiences that accelerate metaverse efforts by giving creators the power to shape it.

Unity and Weta have only entered an agreement, so the final acquisition still needs to go through. That means it’ll be a while until we see the full effects of the deal. But it’s a major move that’s likely going to impact video games, movies, and just about every digital space.

Editors' Recommendations

Netflix may bring its gaming service to TVs, with iPhones serving as controllers
The Netflix Games section.

Netflix is working on a feature that will bring its games to smart TVs and allow players to use their iPhone as a controller, reports from Bloomberg and MacRumors' Steve Moser said on Wednesday.

The move would take Netflix’s gaming service beyond only smartphones and tablets, giving subscribers more ways to play. And for iPhone owners, it also eliminates the need to buy a dedicated controller, making it more likely that people would give its games a go.

Read more
For content creators, ‘cozy games’ have unlocked an unexpected career
Donald Duck walks through a town in Disney Dreamlight Valley,

It’s safe to say that the cozy game genre has come into its own in the last few years. Also known as wholesome games, the emerging genre typically offers a slower story pace and a more relaxed style of gameplay, dropping the fast action found in other genres. More low-key and self-guided games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Harvest Moon, and Spiritfarer have always existed, but they’ve only really established themselves as a separate genre recently. There’s an entire cozy tag on Steam and even an entire industry event, Wholesome Direct, dedicated to showcasing new games annually.  A quick search on Google will reveal a number of game developers who have happily taken up the mantle of creating these chill games for players.

But cozy gaming has blossomed beyond just the games themselves, much as the larger video game space has over the last 15 years. Players have begun to take their love for gaming and channel it into other forms, making use of platforms like Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram to create a variety of unique content. Content creators have taken to streaming, video making, and other forms of content such as sharing photos on Instagram to discuss, play, and share their love for the genre.

Read more
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is unintentionally delightful
lord of the rings gollum art

One does not simply walk into Mordor; instead, one might opt to climb up a wall of vines or jump from platform to platform. That’s the crux of what The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is all about.

The game positions the player as the classic Lord of the Rings villain, shining light on his previously unexplored backstory, which includes his capture and subsequent escape from the clutches of evil. It’s a novel concept that I wasn’t exactly sure would work before trying it out for myself. Given all that, I knew I needed to play The Lord of the Rings: Gollum at PAX East, and after going hands-on with it, I came away with mixed thoughts that lean positive, with more than a few caveats.

Read more