The launch of the Unity Buy SDK from Shopify will make it easier for developers to build a store with real items right inside a game.
According to TechCrunch, players can then buy T-shirts, mugs, toys and more emblazoned with a user’s logo and characters. Apple Pay for fast transactions will be available on iOS.
Alto’s Adventure is one of the first games to build in the Unity Buy SDK, with the integration easy to use. Developers can easily gate access to their shops, with unlocks dependent on a player’s progress through the game. So once someone clears a difficult level, the player unlocks a more exclusive item. And there’s potential for game developers to sell more than just their own gear.
“Imagine I see someone wearing shirt that I know they unlocked in a game — it’s like some sort of credibility,” said Shopify Director of Product Brandon Chu. “And if you are a game and you don’t actually have any physical products to sell, you can actually plug in and build a sales channel that’s public so that other merchants can actually sell through your game as well.”
Some of the potential offerings might include restaurant-themed games selling home kitchen and cooking gear or sports games selling sporting equipment.
The Unity Buy SDK is part of Shopify’s broader launch of its Custom Storefronts platform, which basically exposes the tools it uses to create web-based stores and makes those available to anyone. This means they can embed stores in a number of places with a minimum of calls and resources required.