Another Chapek-Era Idea Bites the Dust and We Barely Even Knew What it Was

Disney Metaverse
Credit: Tech News Inc.

When Disney announced plans for a metaverse people scratched their heads…. What would that mean exactly? Were they talkiNg about a VR experience? AR? What the heck even IS a metaverse? Rumors and speculation swirled about the project. Touted as “next generation storytelling” the project was sketchy on details.

Related: What the Heck is the Metaverse?

All that had been released publicly was a memo from former CEO Bob Chapek stating that the project would “create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories.” Many speculated that fantasy sports, theme park attractions, or interactive movies would be the basis of what would become the Disney metaverse but no one really knew for sure.

Now we will never know what that might mean. Under pressure from investors to cut non-essential business ventures, it seems Bob Iger is letting this Chapek-era idea go. As Disney seeks to make $5.5 billion in cuts and eliminate about 7,000 jobs, the project joins the ever growing list of ideas that will never see the light of day.

Related: Chapek-Era Policy Rolled Back 

 Chapek announced the project at the height of metaverse mania with companies everywhere announcing their own spin on the concept. At the time Chapek established a unit focused on the company’s metaverse strategy led by Mike White. White’s task was “connecting the physical and digital worlds” for Disney entertainment and in doing so he built up a team of about 50 people who were working to create…whatever mysterious blend of physical and digital storytelling this was supposed to be.

mike white disney metaverse

Mike White Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Related: Disney Just Patented a Metaverse

Today, the entire 50 person team is unemployed after being let go when the project was scrapped. The sole exception is White, who remains with the Walt Company, though his new role has not yet been announced. The metaverse team joins the ranks of the 7,000 announced job cuts coming to the company in 3 waves and the world will never know what Chapeks idea of “next generation storytelling” may have been.

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.