Unity will buy Weta, the visual effects company co-founded by Sir Peter Jackson, for 1.625 billion.
The companies have entered into a “definitive agreement” which will place WETA’s recognized VFX tools in the hands of the game manufacturers.
Weta is responsible for VFX in a number of award-winning films and TV shows, from Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, to Black Widow, Avatar and more. Unity is the 3D game development platform used by thousands of developers worldwide.
As part of the transaction, Unity will acquire Weta’s engineering talent, industry-leading tools, a data platform that makes it easier for artists to work together, and a library of thousands of assets. In the future, these tools will be made available to creators through a cloud-based workflow.
Weta’s film arm will continue as a standalone entity under Unity known as WetaFX and will remain majority owned by Jackson.
“Weta Digital’s tools created unlimited possibilities for us to bring to life the worlds and creatures that originally lived in our imagination,” Jackson said.
“Together, Unity and Weta Digital can create a path for any artist, from any industry, to leverage these incredibly creative and powerful tools. Offering hopeful creative 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. “
Weta is the largest single-site VFX studio in the world, drawing artists from over 40 countries. It is perhaps best known for bringing Gollum to life in The Lord of the Rings and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes.
Together with Unity, the two companies will be a force to be reckoned with in game development.