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Peter Jackson sells Weta Digital to Unity for $1.625 billion

Romier S

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Unity, a 3D game-development platform, is expanding its VFX footprint in a big way with the $1.625 billion acquisition of the technology division of Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based Weta Digital.

The deal promises to make the tools used to create Gollum for Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings,” Caesar from “The Planet of the Apes” and characters and settings from a slew of other movies available to creators all over the world.

At some point, Unity plans to make Weta Digital’s tools available to creators through a cloud-based workflow, with software-as-a-service pricing to be announced later. Under the deal, Unity is obtaining the Weta Digital suite of VFX tools and technology and its team of 275 engineers, who will join Unity’s Create Solutions division.


Important note:


Weta Digital’s VFX and animation teams will continue to exist as a standalone entity, known as WetaFX, which is expected to become Unity’s largest customer in the media and entertainment space. WetaFX, with about 1,700 employees, will remain majority-owned by Jackson and led by CEO Prem Akkaraju. The proposed deal is expected to close before the end of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

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