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In the latest line of metaverse layoffs, Disney has let go of its roughly 50-strong team in charge of next generation storytelling and consumer experiences. Reportedly, this division was in charge of investigating how the media giant could enter the metaverse.
The axed team was primarily in charge of leveraging Disney’s vast library of intellectual property to create interactive storytelling experiences. In February last year, former Disney CEO Bob Chapek had put a long-standing Disney executive in charge of the team. In a statement, Chapek said, “It could be a really great catalyst for what’s going to come out there in five to ten years”.
The executive placed in charge of the team, Michael White, had previous experience in Disney’s interactive media, consumer experiences, and parks divisions. The company was reportedly looking to leverage the metaverse to not only create new experiences at their parks, but also penetrate deeper into fantasy sports and other consumer experiences.
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As a result of this layoff, White’s team of 50 has lost their jobs, but sources claim that the executive will stay on. This layoff comes as a part of cost-cutting measures at the company, for which it had hired a team of consultants from McKinsey and Co. As part of these measures, the company announced that it would cut costs to the tune of about $5.5 billion, thanks in no small part to the 7000 jobs that this layoff has claimed.
Layoffs have been rampant this year, especially for companies competing in the metaverse. Earlier this month, Meta cut over 10,000 jobs in a second round of layoffs as a part of the company’s “Year of Efficiency”. Last month, Microsoft had also laid off its HoloLens unit as part of wider layoffs while Apple also postponed its augmented reality glasses as its metaverse dreams cooled off.