A major transaction has taken place in the gaming industry, but it’s not quite the one that you’d imagine. Unity Technologies, the maker of the gaming development software with their namesake has announced that they have purchased giant visual effects studio Weta Digital for an astronomical $1.6 billion. The studio was sold by its founder, critically acclaimed film Director Peter Jackson, who is most well known for directing and producing the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film series. According to a statement made by Unity, they will officially acquire Weta Digital via a “cash and stock deal” which gives them access to “tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent.”
The engine developer will acquire the tech behind films like The Lord of the Rings, Avatar and Shang-Chi. https://t.co/wUBNpaOPty
— PC Gamer (@pcgamer) November 11, 2021
In short, this basically means that Unity now owns a fair amount of special technological software, most of which will more than likely be used to further game and software development in the foreseeable future. In addition, all employees at Weta Digital will officially join Unity, though the visual department that focuses on movies will retain their positions with Jackson under a new name, WetaFX. Unity has already been a major player in the video game industry for several years and is mainly responsible for a plethora of indie studios using their proprietary software to create IPs. Most of these products have had varying degrees of success.
This is a major power grab for Unity, especially since they were taking a massive financial loss every single year since they opened their doors. This all changed when the company went public on the NYSE in 2020 and has since been growing substantially, enough to apparently make this kind of transaction. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and then it’ll be interesting to see just what Unity is going to do with all of their new assets.