Perhaps it’s just a matter of time before Disney ( DIS -2.25% ) joins the metaverse, but what direction will the company go? In this clip from “The Virtual Opportunities” on Motley Fool Live, recorded on March 22, Fool.com contributors Travis Hoium, Jose Najarro, and Rachel Warren share their thoughts on what the entertainment and media giant’s potential strategy may look like.
Travis Hoium: Yeah, so there was an interesting article from CNBC that talked about the dynamic between Bob Iger and Bob Chapek, who is the new CEO of Disney. Iger is now out, I believe entirely from his Executive and Board roles at Disney. But there was some clear conflicts between the two of them. One of them came out around Disney’s potential strategy around the metaverse.
I think that’s really interesting given what Disney has done over the last decade, collecting assets where it has been successful and unsuccessful. Think about Disney has not really been a very good gaming company [laughs] despite all of their great assets. Can you think of the last, Mickey Mouse game or even Star Wars game? They just have not been able to translate that to the gaming space.
So, Bob Chapek apparently had set its sites in part on building out some sort of metaverse at Disney. He has appointed an executive to be in charge of Disney’s metaverse opportunities. We’ve talked about the metaverse on The Motley Fool a number of times and talked about how this massive catch-all for like all things digital and gaming and whatever you want it to be.
When you think about a company like Disney, I think it’s interesting because they have a lot of assets to attract users into some sort of digital space. Like I have young kids, if you created a Disney Roblox, they’re not quite old enough for that, but as they get to be 8,9,10,11,12 years old, that’s right in their wheelhouse. Disney doesn’t really have that kind of thing.
I think it’s really interesting to think about the success that Iger had as a CEO and then what Chapek is trying to create that might look different than that, but leverage the same assets. I put out a Twitter poll that I was just thinking like, should Disney buy Roblox ( RBLX -6.40% )? Is there an Iger-type move that Chapek can pull off?
That was the one that popped in my head. If you take Roblox and you take their technology and their ability to attract users, and then you use this Disney IP, I think it’s interesting. That was what I brought to the table and was just interested in your thoughts on, is Disney an interesting metaverse play? And is this something that could be successful?
Or is this one of those companies where they’re going to say metaverse 58 times in their earnings call? [laughs] We’re just, gonna go, no, we don’t buy this. Where do they fit in that because I struggle with this one? Jose, do you want to take it from there? [laughs]
Jose Najarro: Yeah. I think this nation should probably play it the same way they played it with Netflix in the streaming market, which was initially they did a lot of licensing toward Netflix ( NFLX -3.10% ), where they built a little bit of their catalog. I think maybe the metaverse and wherever this is going to go especially in the gaming market is still a little too early.
Hoium: Let somebody else figure it out is what you’re saying?
Najarro: Yeah. While they license some other characters, you can use our Mickey Mouse for paying us some gazillion amount of dollars, and then a few years once it’s become a more stable place maybe then they can start thinking about who to acquire or what to do within that metaverse. I think their strong IP can be one of the easiest ways for them to get into the metaverse without really building the metaverse themselves.
Rachel Warren: One of the things that’s stuck out to me that I think we’ve been seeing more companies try to make clear is that there’s not going to be just one metaverse as envisioned by Meta ( FB -3.68% ) which I think is a really interesting point because I feel like Meta envisions itself as leading the way in this space and in many ways perhaps it is.
But I think when you see everyone from like CBS which I’m going to talk about later to Walmart, to companies that you just would never expect to even be thinking about the metaverse like Match Group ( MTCH -3.30% ) we talked about last week. It’s very clear that this space has a lot of opportunity for a lot of different industries and a lot of different types of companies.
I think the IP that Disney has could make it really ripe for its own very interesting metaverse. Just think of like the Marvel Entertainment side of its business, a Marvel metaverse, I would go there. [laughs] I would completely nerd out over all of that. That’s just one little aspect of the IP that it has control over, so I do think there’s a lot of potential there.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.