Unity to close Weta VFX, beloved Lord of the Rings studio


unity closes lord of the rings studio weta vfx
Credit: Warner Bros.

Infamous gaming entity Unity has shockingly shut down Weta VFX, the company that worked on Peter Jackson’s acclaimed Lord of the Rings films. This is in addition to 265 employees who are now out of jobs, as the company prepares for a supposed reset of priorities.

As reported by Reuters, Unity announced that they would be ending their contracted agreement with Jackson’s Weta VFX, after purchasing them in 2021. In response to Weta’s closing, Unity said this was so that they could focus on their “core business,” though they did call Weta “remarkable.”

"Unity believes the Weta Digital team are remarkable, but Unity needs to become leaner as it focuses its expertise on its core business," the statement says. "It also believes it makes more sense for Weta FX to own full end-to-end production activities directly. Unity will be focusing its expertise and people on other matters, and Weta FX will be getting support for its use of the Weta Tools directly from its own crew – a shorter path which makes sense for both companies."

This comes shortly after Unity tried to introduce their controversial Runtime Fee policy, which would have forced major companies to use their games to pay them whenever their games are uninstalled. Naturally, this was a very controversial decision and the company is now reviewing this policy, despite failed attempts to defend and clarify the move.

Little needs to be said about Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, other than the fact that they’re incredible and cast a long shadow on other Tolkien projects. Most fans will agree that these movies are too good, making already bad media like Rings of Power and Gollum even worse.

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Only time will determine what happens to the employees of Weta VFX, though we hope those who were affected land on their feet soon. After all, this is the second time this year Unity has laid off its employees, which is also a worrying trend in the game industry.

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