game software firm unity to buy the lord of the rings vfx studio weta digital for $2.2b

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) – Unity Software will buy Weta Digital, a visual effects (VFX) studio known for its work in movies such as Godzilla Vs Kong and Avatar in a US$1.63 billion (S$2.2 billion) cash-and-stock deal, the companies said on Tuesday (Nov 9).

The deal would help Unity, which makes software for video games and animation, tap into Weta Digital’s technology and talent to develop VFX tools and focus on metaverse opportunities.

Weta Digital was founded by film director Peter Jackson of The Lord Of The Rings fame and has won several Academy and Bafta Awards. It is known for its animated characters such as Gollum and Caesar from Planet Of The Apes.

Unity, which made the software behind the popular mobile phone game Temple Run, will roll out tools for artists and developers across a number of industries, including film and gaming.

“This is where the real opportunity lies. This acquisition is all about building out the platform that will be at the centre of the metaverse,” D.A. Davidson & Co analyst Franco Granda said.

Metaverse, a buzz word in the tech field after Facebook said it would shift its focus, connects users through augmented and virtual reality and may require artists to work with new tools to build realistic projects.

Weta Digital’s Academy Award-winning VFX team will remain a standalone entity known as WetaFX, and is expected to become Unity’s largest customer in the media and entertainment space, the companies said.

Weta FX will license back the technologies and tools from Unity, sign an annual agreement worth US$50 million and a contract for commercial services, they added.

Shares of Unity, which have gained about 12 per cent so far this year, slumped 8 per cent in extended trading.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Twitch and Beyond: The Best Video Game Live Streaming Services for 2022

Ever wanted to broadcast your play sessions to the world or watch others do the same? With the right live streaming service you can. Here are our top picks.

View more: Twitch and Beyond: The Best Video Game Live Streaming Services for 2022

The Best Anime Streaming Services for 2022

Japan produces a vast amount of anime, and we've reviewed the top online services for watching it legally.

View more: The Best Anime Streaming Services for 2022

How to Make a Video Game: The Best Game Development Software for 2022

Consumer-grade game dev software helps turn your game concepts into real products, with no previous coding experience required. Chase your game-making dreams with these top tools.

View more: How to Make a Video Game: The Best Game Development Software for 2022

Fine-tuning remote sensing to protect forests from the spread of dangerous insect infestations

PIDS-detected beetle activity map vs. Aerial Detection Survey (ADS) map. The PIDS result shows high agreement with the ADS map which was annually produced from aerial manual sketch mapping, while the time-series approaches such as PIDS/CCDC is much more economically effective and are able to provide near real-time updates ...

View more: Fine-tuning remote sensing to protect forests from the spread of dangerous insect infestations

Big North Carolina factory likely to be Toyota battery plant

The company logo adorns a sign outside a Toyota dealership Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Lakewood, Colo. North Carolina officials have scheduled a Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, news conference to announce a major economic development project, which likely will be construction of a Toyota electric vehicle battery factory with ...

View more: Big North Carolina factory likely to be Toyota battery plant

Anthropogenic disturbance, the main factor affecting habitat quality of the great bustard population in Western China

Great Bustard (Otis tarda tarda). Credit: XIEG A joint study by researchers from the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Eurasian Bustard Alliance has found that anthropogenic disturbance is the main factor affecting the habitat quality of the great bustard population ...

View more: Anthropogenic disturbance, the main factor affecting habitat quality of the great bustard population in Western China

Employment interventions boost disability employability by 25%

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Finding a job can be tough at the best of times, but when you have a disability it can be an uphill battle, especially when fewer than 50 percent of disabled people have a job. Now, a novel employment intervention developed by the University of ...

View more: Employment interventions boost disability employability by 25%

New study shows benefits of mindfulness for middle-school teachers

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Mindfulness training can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in middle-school teachers while boosting their self-compassion and classroom management skills, according to a new study by researchers at Penn State and Portland State University. “Middle-school teachers have a unique window of opportunity to affect their ...

View more: New study shows benefits of mindfulness for middle-school teachers

Why dingoes should be considered native to mainland Australia, even though humans introduced them

Acer Predator Helios 500 (PH517-52) launched in India with Intel Core i9 CPU, RTX 3080 GPU, 120Hz 4K Mini LED Display

Using virtual reality to treat pain and anxiety

Billionaire investor Chris Sacca says day traders are begging him for bailouts — and reveals he bought the dip

UK proptech investment hits record £1.6bn

TCL 55-Inch 6-Series 4K Google TV 55R646

Windows 11 vs. Windows 10, Tested: Will the OS Upgrade Speed Up Your Current PC?

India's HCL Tech says to hire 12,000 in U.S. over 5 years

Russian bans for tech giants is last resort, Interfax reports

SoftBank leads $50 million funding in HR tech startup Sense

Realme 9i key specifications detailed; Could feature 90Hz Display, Snapdragon 680 SoC

EXCLUSIVE SEC probes Tesla over whistleblower claims on solar panel defects

OTHER TECH NEWS

;