Amazon and Walmart Both Turn to Games for Revenue Sources


In anticipation of incorporating advertisements on Prime Video, Amazon is also delving into the development of movies and TV series inspired by the Warhammer 40,000 games.

On the flip side, Walmart, not aiming to take over the movie world, recently shared news about teaming up with Unity, a platform for 3D experiences. This partnership allows game and app creators to directly link Walmart’s shopping features into their creations, making it possible to sell real items in 3D experiences on over 20 platforms. 

These initiatives are responses to the ongoing challenge of consumer hesitancy to spend in 2023 and beyond, driven by concerns about inflation. 

Last month, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon expressed apprehensions regarding consumer spending in 2024. In an interview with CNBC, McMillon pointed to heightened credit card balances and constrained household budgets, casting doubt on the extent of consumers’ expenditures despite their recent resilience. 

The Current State of the Consumer  

PYMNTS recently noted that many consumers continue to perceive inflation as a regular part of their daily lives. Against that backdrop, there’s a general feeling of distrust during calm moments, and  economic conditions are viewed as challenging overall.  

According to a consumer survey conducted by the University of Michigan, U.S. consumer sentiment dropped for the fourth consecutive month in November. 

These consumers also believed that inflation is on a persistent upward trajectory, both in the present and in the long term, PYMNTS reported at the time. 

However, in December, the university published results indicating a rebound in consumer optimism, thanks to an expected easing in inflation. Consumers’ inflation expectations for 12 months into the future fell to 3.1% in December, down from 4.5% in November, according to the survey.

“Sentiment is now about 39% above the all-time low measured in June of 2022 but still well below pre-pandemic levels,” Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu said when announcing the December results.

Amazon Heads to the Big Screen 

PYMNTS previously reported that Amazon’s new Prime content has been scheduled to roll out to customers in the U.K., Germany and Canada on Feb. 5, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later this year. 

In this update, Amazon plans to introduce “limited advertisements” to Prime, with the goal of supporting investments in exciting content and continually improving these investments over an extended period. 

Amazon has also informed its subscribers that they can opt to pay an extra $2.99 per month to enjoy uninterrupted content without any commercial breaks. 

In its Warhammer 40,000 project, the company is moving to create movies and a TV series based on the game, with actor Henry Cavill taking on the role of executive producer. 

Read more: Amazon Nails Down Partnership With Warhammer Creator 

Walmart Doubles Down on Interactive Ways to Shop 

Continuing its efforts to offer customers an interactive shopping experience, Walmart is now enabling game and app creators to integrate Walmart’s shopping features directly into their creations, allowing the sale of physical products within 3D experiences on more than 20 platforms. 

“We have an opportunity to connect the physical and digital realms in a way that only Walmart can, meeting our customers and members with authentic experiences where they already are,” said Tom Kang, vice president and general manager, Metaverse Commerce, Walmart’s Store No. 8 in a press release.

“By opening up Walmart’s commerce APIs to the Unity development community, we’re empowering developers to offer a new mechanism to further drive user engagement while making it easy and convenient for players to complete a transaction for physical products without leaving the game, virtual world or app,” Kang added.  

Walmart’s Unity Software-Development Kit lets creators blend Walmart’s shopping features into their games. This means players can buy physical items within the games without leaving them. 

By keeping players in the game, creators keep the immersive experience going and make sure players stay engaged. Creators also get the chance to earn money through affiliate commissions when players make certain real-life purchases through Walmart. 

Walmart’s latest move comes after recent collaborations with TikTok and Roku for its inaugural shoppable series “Add to Heart,” which debuted for the holiday season. 

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