Unity to acquire Weta, the world’s biggest VFX studio

Last updated:

Development software and tech company Unity is set to acquire Weta, the visual effects studio behind movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For $1.63 billion, the companies have entered into a “definitive agreement” that will give Unity the ability to place Weta’s world class visual effects tools in the hands of game developers.

Formally known as Unity Technologies, the company was founded in Denmark as a game development studio before pivoting to the development and licensing of tools for game development. Unity’s business is centered around the Unity engine which has been used to make games like Death’s Door, Wasteland 3 and Twelve Minutes.

Weta was founded by director Peter Jackson and his partners to develop visual effects for films like Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners. As stated, much of the effects studio’s fame comes from their work on Lord of the Rings as well as other award-winning films and TV shows like Game of Thrones and Avatar.

Unity to acquire Weta

The deal will also give Unity access to Weta’s engineering talent, industry-leading tools that let artists work together, as well as thousands of assets. A cloud-based workflow will integrate these tools and assets into the data platform that creators will use. That being said, Weta’s film arm will continue to operate in its capacity as an effects house under the name of WetaFX.

“Weta Digital’s tools created unlimited possibilities for us to bring to life the worlds and creatures that originally lived in our imaginations,” said Jackson. “Together, Unity and Weta Digital can create a pathway for any artist, from any industry, to be able to leverage these incredibly creative and powerful tools. Offering aspiring creatives access to Weta Digital’s technology will be nothing short of game changing and Unity is just the company to bring this vision to life.”

It’s worth noting that for Unity to acquire Weta fully, it still has to officially pass regulatory approval, but should no unforeseen obstacles emerge, is likely to close by the end of the year. Unity also noted that this acquisition will also give them more tools to put towards the development of its own metaverse, which is to say an emergent new virtual world that has .