The Walt Disney Company has named a new executive to head up its metaverse division, and his first order of business is to decipher exactly what the heck the “metaverse” is.
Disney has named one of its executives, Mike White, to lead the entertainment giant’s metaverse strategy. White, who has been with The Walt Disney Company for more than a decade, will be the chief of a team of senior Disney leaders, and he will also lead a team of Disney staff who specifically possess skills in technology, strategy, and storytelling. His role will be that of Senior Vice President of Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences.
Disney first announced its intent to throw its hat into the metaverse ring in November 2021, and almost immediately, the company also announced it was seeking someone to fill a role within the company that would be tasked with overseeing Disney’s metaverse.
In a recent memo to Disney’s staff, CEO Bob Chapek said that the metaverse is “the next great storytelling frontier” that Disney wants to explore. Chapek described the metaverse as a “perfect place to pursue our strategic pillars of storytelling excellence, innovation, and audience focus.” Global tech giants like Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta have already poured billions of dollars into the idea, and Disney has wasted no time exploring the possibilities within the metaverse.
“Teams across the company are exploring this new canvas,” Disney CEO Chapek said, “and I have been blown away by what I’ve seen.”
Part of the new metaverse exec’s responsibilities will include building partnerships, allocating the necessary resources, and encouraging the sharing of information and knowledge across the metaverse. That’s in addition to figuring out exactly what the metaverse is, what Disney’s version of it will be, and how the heck to come up with a viable definition for the metaverse so he can memorize it and repeat it to the myriads of people who will no doubt ask, “What’s the metaverse?”
According to BBC, a metaverse is “an online world where people can game, work, and communicate in a virtual environment, often using virtual reality headsets.” In laymen’s terms, the metaverse is a space in which a combination of technologies, like augmented reality, virtual reality, etc., are used to live, work, interact, socialize, etc., in a digital form. Some hail the metaverse as the internet 2.0.
Disney sees the metaverse as the next step in its “100-year-old storytelling tradition.”
“Today, we have an opportunity to connect those universes,” Chapek explained in his memo, “and create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories.”