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Walmart Selling IRL Items in Games

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and Unity, the world’s leading platform for creating and growing real-time 3D (RT3D) content, today announced plans to give Unity developers the ability to integrate Walmart’s commerce APIs directly into their games and apps. This enables creators to sell physical items in RT3D experiences across 20+ platforms, unlocking new ways to connect customers’ virtual and physical lifestyles and establishing new monetization channels in games and experiences made with Unity.

This partnership brings the retail power of Walmart to Unity’s game and app development community, with more than 1.1 million developers using the Unity editor monthly, powering an average of 3.6 billion downloads each month of Made With Unity apps worldwide.

Tom Kang, VP and GM, Metaverse Commerce, Walmart’s Store No. 8 said – “ 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. 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.”

In conjunction with this, Marc Whitten, president, Create, Unity said – “ This announcement paves the way for new innovation in commerce for games and other virtual experiences.  We’re excited to be able to give Unity developers the option of another new revenue stream while keeping players within their games and experiences.”

With Walmart expanding immersive commerce in online worlds to facilitate connections between the virtual and real / physical worlds, experiences were provided with Unity and integrate Walmart commerce APIs for –

  • House Flip  –  developed by fun-gi :  Players of this mobile game, which allows you to renovate, decorate and sell virtual homes, can purchase the real-life counterparts of items they use in the game. This includes everything from Glidden paint to décor items from Mainstays and Better Homes and Gardens and even a Christmas tree from Holiday Time.
  • Avakin Life  –  developed by Lockwood Publishing :  Walmart gave players the ability to purchase virtual twins of their latest apparel or receive the virtual item free with the purchase of the physical item. Walmart also released their first virtual clothing line, CoreMood Collective, into the virtual world.
  • ZEPETO  –  Naver Z’s flagship platform : Walmart has launched both its Scoop and virtual-first CoreMood Collective brands in this rapidly growing 3D avatar-based social platform by contextually integrating them into social spaces in ZEPETO. As the next step to connect the virtual and real worlds, Walmart and ZEPETO are working on integrating immersive commerce capabilities into select spaces on the platform for future brand integrations.

Walmart’s official Unity Software – Development Kit (SDK) enables creators to natively integrate Walmart’s Commerce APIs into their projects, allowing players to buy physical goods within their games and applications without ever leaving the game. 

By keeping players in their games, creators can maintain their immersive experiences, extending session engagement. Creators will also be able to increase their monetization capabilities by receiving affiliate commissions from certain physical purchases powered by Walmart.

Visit the Walmart Developer Platform website for more information or to sign up for access.

Jan 8, 2024   CAIL Innovation Commentary      905-940-9000