Disney CEO Bob Chapek claimed on Wednesday that the company is planning to use virtual reality. He then elaborated in an interview that the Disney+ streaming service will be connected to the Metaverse somehow as well. The details of these plans remain to be seen.
Personally, I am highly critical of Disney's corporate policies, approaches to copyright and trademarking and monopoly on a large part of the entertainment industry. The metaverse is just one more thing off of which Disney can profit.
Even for Disney's target audience, a Metaverse will be a strange format shift. Disney's iconic brand lies in its audiovisual media and theme parks. Adding Metaverse content turns the experience into something more like an interactive video game. While Disney already makes games, these games have never been their most popular properties. The introduction of the Metaverse will shift the focus greatly to interactive media rather than original storytelling. I doubt this is what the average fan wants.
While Disney isn't my thing, I wouldn't want this treatment given to media I personally enjoy either. I can't think of any film I like that would be enriched by a metaverse experience. Audiovisual storytelling is designed for the screen, and trying to convert stories from TV and film into the metaverse is difficult. Video games have come out for nearly every film made for years now, but how many of those do we actually play, enjoy and remember? I imagine that after the initial excitement wears off, film-centred metaverse experiences will be seen in a similar fashion.
The Metaverse concept has largely been relegated to dystopian science fiction for years, and for good reason. If only Disney and other large corporations could keep it that way.