Weta Digital was sold to Unity for $1.6 billion

Its visual effects business will remain as a separate company called WetaFX, which is expected to become one of Unity’s largest customers.
Weta Digital is sold to Unity
Weta Digital, founded in partnership with Peter Jackson, sold to Unity

Weta Digital, the New Zealand-based visual effects studio founded in partnership with Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, has been sold to Unity for $1.6 billion.

Peter Jackson said in a statement:

“Together, Unity and Weta Digital can create a way for any artist from any industry to take advantage of these incredibly creative and powerful tools.”

Funded in partnership with Peter Jackson in 1993, Weta is best known for creating animated characters such as Neytiri from Avatar, Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, and Caesar from the Planet of the Apes.

Weta Digital's City Builder tool
Weta Digital’s City Builder tool

Sydney-based film critic James Fletcher said the following to BBC:

“Weta for the southern hemisphere is our version of Hollywood. Peter Jackson is a visionary filmmaker. He didn’t have the tools he needed to get the results he wanted, so he put together a team.”

Under the agreement, the company’s technology assets will be split over to Unity. Its visual effects business will remain as a separate company called WetaFX, which is expected to become one of Unity’s largest customers.

Weta officials stated the following;

“Peter Jackson will stay and continue to make films in New Zealand with the company’s digital artists.”

Unity said in a statement that it will “put Weta’s incredibly specialized and sophisticated visual effects tools in the hands of millions of creators and artists worldwide” and enable them to shape the future of the metaverse.

The term Metaverse has reached a wider audience in recent weeks after Facebook said last month it would change its name to Meta to better reflect its new focus on connecting users through augmented and virtual reality.

Shares of Unity fell more than 6% in extended trading on the New York Stock Exchange following the announcement of the cash and stock deal.

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