Peter Jackson is separating from the special effects branch of his company Weta Digital, a world leader in its field, which sold more than $ 1.6 billion to Unity Software, which specializes in the design of 3D engines widely used in video games.
Peter Jackson sells some of his family jewels. In this case the special effects branch of his company Weta Digital, against a check for $ 1.625 billion made by the company Unity Software, specialized in the design of the famous 3D video game engine Unity, widely used in the video game industry.
According to the American company, based in San Francisco, the technology that Weta possesses – used in blockbusters such as the Lord of the Rings and Avatar trilogy – must allow its subscribers to create their own ultra realistic universe of a virtual world. “We are delighted to democratize these cutting-edge tools [de la technologie] and to bring the genius of Sir Peter Jackson and the incredible engineering talent of Weta to life for artists around the world ” said John Riccitiello, President ofUnity, in a press release. For the anecdote, John Riccitiello was notably the CEO of the mastodon publisher Electronic Arts, from 1997 to 2004.
As part of this agreement, Unity Software will own the technology and engineering assets of Weta Digital, based in Wellington, while Peter Jackson will remain the majority owner of an independent film effects company called WetaFX.
Created in the wake of his (very large) film Celestial Creatures in 1993, Weta Digital has become the world’s largest company specializing in special effects. Employing artists from around forty countries, it currently has 1,700 employees; the VFX branch of the company employs 275 employees, who will join the ranks of Unity Software.
This big announcement is very interesting, because it should lead in the coming years to an impressive qualitative leap in video games and their designs. As a reminder, in July 2021, Take-Two Interactive, giant of the video game industry and parent company of the development studio Rockstar, announced the takeover of the French company Dynamixyz, specializing in facial animations and performance capture.
Based in Cesson-Sévigné, in Brittany, it was she who was behind the facial animations of the CGIs of Avengers: Endgame, to locate the level of expertise. She also worked on the Love, Death & Robots series and was in charge of the game’s facial animations. Red Dead Redemption 2, the western masterpiece of Rockstar.