Unity Completes Acquisition of Weta Digital’s Tools, Pipeline, and Engineering Talent
Closed transaction marks the beginning of democratizing Weta Digital’s exclusive tools for millions of creators and artists
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, today announced it has completed the acquisition of Weta Digital’s tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent. This acquisition is designed to empower the growing number of game developers, artists, and potentially millions of consumer creators with highly sophisticated content creation tools used in some of the world’s most iconic movies and television shows, such as Avatar, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, The Suicide Squad, and more.
In addition to acquiring dozens of industry-leading tools, a foundational data platform for interoperable 3D art creation, and a library of thousands of incredible assets that the WetaFX team will continue to evolve, Unity welcomes Weta Digital’s world-class engineering talent of 275 engineers that are known for architecting, building, and maintaining Weta Digital tools and core pipeline.
“We are thrilled to officially welcome Weta Digital’s highly talented engineering team to Unity and to begin the journey of integrating two powerhouse technologies,” said Marc Whitten, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Create Solutions at Unity. “By bringing this team and technology to Unity, we can enable more storytellers to reach their creative potential by giving them access to the diamonds of all diamonds of VFX tools, underpinned by the power of real-time 3D.”
Weta Digital’s Academy Award-Winning VFX teams will continue as a standalone entity known as WetaFX under majority ownership by Sir Peter Jackson and helmed by CEO Prem Akkaraju.
“I know Weta Digital’s journey with Unity has just begun and I’m more confident than ever that Unity is the company to take this technology to a broader market,” said Prem Akkaraju, CEO of WetaFX and now former CEO of Weta Digital. “The decision to make our tools accessible to the wider market was ultimately driven by our goal of inspiring other creators. WetaFX is Jimi Hendrix, and we know enabling more artists to play, we’ll see the world has many, many more Jimi Hendrixes.”
The transaction closed on December 1, 2021 and under the terms of the agreement, Unity acquired Weta Digital’s tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent for US$1.625B in a combination of cash and stock. Unity will not be relocating employees with this acquisition and remains supportive and committed to Wellington, New Zealand.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding enabling millions of creators and artists around the world; the ability of Unity and Weta Digital to enable the next generation of RT3D creativity; Unity’s ability to democratize industry-leading tools and bring Weta Digital’s engineering talent to life for artists everywhere; the ability of Unity to enable an entirely new generation of creators to build, transform and distribute stunning 3D content; Unity’s ability to bring Weta Digital to a much broader audience; Unity’s ability to evolve its pipeline for content creators; and Unity and Weta Digital’s ability to open new possibilities for creators. The words “will,” “allows,” “can,” “enable,” “objective” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, such as Unity’s ability to successfully integrate Weta Digital’s technology and business; costs related to the acquisition; whether potential benefits of the transaction extend to Unity and Weta Digital’s customers and other potential creators; Unity’s and Weta Digital’s success developing new products or modifying existing products and the degree to which these gain market acceptance; and any unanticipated impact of accounting for the acquisition. If the risks materialize or assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. Further information on these and additional risks that could affect Unity’s results is included in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including our Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 10, 2021, and our future reports that we may file with the SEC from time to time, which could cause actual results to vary from expectations. Unity assumes no obligation to, and does not currently intend to, update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
Unity (NYSE: U) is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content. Creators, ranging from game developers to artists, architects, automotive designers, filmmakers, and others, use Unity to make their imaginations come to life. Unity’s platform provides a comprehensive set of software solutions to create, run and monetize interactive, real-time 2D and 3D content for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. The company’s 1,800+ person research and development team keeps Unity at the forefront of development by working alongside partners to ensure optimized support for the latest releases and platforms. Apps developed by Unity creators were downloaded more than five billion times per month in 2020. For more information, please visit www.unity.com.
ID (Weta Digital)