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Unity acquires Weta Digital tools and 275 staff for $1.6 billion | Pocket Gamer.biz

Game tech outfit Unity has acquired elements of New Zealand-based SFX company Weta Digital for $1.625 billion in cash and Unity stock.

Best known for its work on The Lord of the Rings films, the Peter Jackson-founded company will bolster Unity’s technology when it comes to film production and movie-style special effects.

For its $1.6 billion, Unity has gained ownership of Weta’s tools, pipeline and 275 of – but not all – its engineering staff.

Examples of the proprietary tools Unity will now have access to include Manuka, Lumberjack, Loki, Squid, Barbershop, HighDef and CityBuilder.

It will also get Weta’s collaborative data platform and its library of assets.

Weta’s separate prop-making firm and its special effects teams are not part of the deal however.

Now open to all

“We are thrilled to democratize these industry-leading tools and bring the genius of Sir Peter Jackson and Weta’s amazing engineering talent to life for artists everywhere,” said John Riccitiello, Unity President and CEO.

“By combining the power of Unity and Weta Digital, the tools and technology that built characters and scenes from the world’s most iconic films such as Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and Wonder Woman, will enable an entirely new generation of creators to build, transform, and distribute stunning RT3D content.”

The proposed acquisition is expected to close during Unity’s fourth quarter 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

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