Unity Software recently made a huge investment to push the digital revolution further: the American company bought the special effects studio of New Zealand director Peter Jackson (named Weta Digital) for $ 1.6 billion, or 1,38 billion euros. This new tool will allow him to “develop the future of the metaverse”, a contraction of the meta-universe, a kind of digital backbone of the physical world, accessible via the Internet.
According to the American company, the technology Weta possesses – used in blockbusters such as the Lord of the Rings and Avatar trilogy – must allow its subscribers to create their own ultra-realistic universe of a virtual world.
“We are delighted to democratize these cutting edge tools and bring the genius of Sir Peter Jackson and the incredible engineering talent of Weta to life for artists around the world,” said John Riccitiello, president of Unity, in a statement.
The metaverse, a plus for the creative sector
As part of the deal, Unity Software will own the technology and engineering assets of Wellington-based Weta Digital, while Peter Jackson will remain the majority owner of an independent film effects company called WetaFX. The director claimed that being able to use Weta Digital’s revolutionary programs is a game-changer for people working in the creative industry.
“Together, Unity and Weta Digital can pave a way for any artist, regardless of industry, to take advantage of these incredibly creative and powerful tools,” he said. The parallel digital universe whets many appetites, as it should make it possible to increase human interactions by freeing them from physical constraints. Considered the next big leap in the evolution of the Internet, this “Grail”, imagined by science fiction for almost 30 years, has become a new horizon of development.
Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook and Instagram platforms, WhatsApp and Messenger messaging and Oculus virtual reality headsets, announced in October that his company is now called Meta after the Greek word for ‘beyond’, but also as metaverse, for meta-universe.
According to him, the metaverse represents the future of the Internet, after computers and mobile phones, to which the public will have access to interact, work or be entertained via technologies (augmented reality glasses, virtual reality headsets, etc. ). He portrayed his vision of the metaverse, an ultra-immersive universe, evoking science fiction novels, where real people and objects will mix with avatars and virtual images, thanks to new cutting-edge technologies.
“The essential quality of the metaverse will be the presence – the feeling of really being there with people,” Mark Zuckerberg explained on his Facebook profile in July. The billionaire has already announced investments of several billion over the coming years and the recruitment of 10,000 people in Europe for this project.