Unity Technologies, owner and developer of the Unity game engine, has announced plans to buy filmmaker Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital in a deal worth US$1.63 billion (~RM6.7 billion). The acquisition will see Unity getting Weta Digital’s dozens of proprietary graphics and VFX tools, 275 engineers, as well as its VFX asset library.
However, the Academy Award-winning VFX team will branch out as a standalone company called WetaFX, which Peter Jackson will hold a majority share in. WetaFX is expected to become Unity’s largest customer in the Media and Entertainment space and will apparently continue to add more assets to the library sold to Unity.
Weta Digital was founded by Peter Jackson in 1993 and is famous for making iconic blockbusters such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Avengers End Game and Infinity War, Avatar, and a lot more.
Unity plans to integrate Weta’s array of 3D tools into Unity Engine and eventually offer a cloud service. Some of the tools include Manuka, Loki, Facial Tech, Barbershop, Totara, Live Viewing, and more. The company doesn’t say exactly when Unity customers can get their hands on these features, but the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
The acquisition is apparently part of Unity’s plan to prepare for the metaverse, which would likely use a lot of 3D models. “Whatever the metaverse is or will be, we believe it will be built by content creators, just like you,” said the company.