Disney Star Unveils Starverse Metaverse Platform Ahead of 2023 IPL Season Launch
The Indian division of the Walt Disney Company, Disney Star, is preparing to launch its metaverse platform, Starverse, following the successful completion of its proof of concept testing phase.
The launch will happen around the start of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Starverse will provide an immersive 3D experience for sports fans. The platform will be offered through the web rather than a downloadable app to increase accessibility.
Starverse will be the first metaverse initiative in India to provide an always-on experience. Metaverse enthusiasts expect it to bring another dimension to user interaction. Disney Star is working with multiple agencies on the development of Starverse. Given that, 3 different agencies are currently focusing on the 3D models and environments, tech backend, and gamification of the experience. Further, Disney Star has a monthly viewership of 790 million across India and 100 other countries.
Disney's Previous Forays into the Metaverse
This is not the first foray into the metaverse for Disney or a company affiliated with its global conglomerate. Disney CEO Bob Chapek discussed the company's ambitions for the future of the entertainment industry in September 2022. The plan included integrating metaverse data to create customised experiences for customers with content from prominent content providers like Lucasfilm and Marvel.
The company also launched a startup accelerator program for NFTs and metaverse projects in July 2022. The program featured companies like Lockerverse, Polygon, and Flickplay. In January 2022, Disney filed a technology patent for a "Virtual World Simulator," which allows consumers to enjoy AR experiences without a VR or AR headset.
Meanwhile, sporting events have become a major avenue for onboarding masses to the metaverse. Events streamed in the metaverse include:
- Australian Open,
- National Basketball Association,
- FIFA World Cup, and
- Hong Kong Rugby 7s.
The launch of Starverse during the 2023 IPL provides 426 million Disney Star viewers with an opportunity to experience this year's cricket tournament in the metaverse. With Disney Star's large viewership and the success of other sporting events in the metaverse, Starverse has the potential to become a major player in India's metaverse initiatives.