Unity acquires Sir Peter Jackson's Weta in $1.6bn deal

Put a ring on it.

Unity is set to acquire Weta, the visual effects company co-founded by Sir Peter Jackson, for $1.625bn.

The companies have entered a "definitive agreement", which will place Weta's renowned VFX tools into the hands of game makers.

Weta is responsible for the 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 to allow artists to work more easily together, and a library of thousands of assets. These tools will, in the future, be made available to creators through a cloud-based workflow.

The film arm of Weta will continue as a standalone entity under Unity known as WetaFX and will remain under majority ownership by Jackson.

"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."

Weta is the largest single-site VFX studio in the world drawing artists from over 40 countries. It is perhaps best known for bringing to life Gollum in Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Planet of the Apes.

Together with Unity, the two companies will be a force to be reckoned with in game development.

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Ed Nightingale

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Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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