Shopify’s new Unity Buy SDK allows mobile game developers to sell merchandise directly within their titles.
Developers that implement the SDK can sell real-world merchandise like shirts, mugs and toys, in-game, all without forcing the player to leave the app. One of the first examples of a developer utilizing the SDK is Toronto-developed Snowman’s Alto’s Adventure. According to a recent tweet from Shopify regarding its partnership with the developer, users will soon be able to buy plush Llamas and other merchandise from within Alto’s Adventure.
The SDK also supports Apple Pay, making the process of purchasing real-world merch in-game even easier thanks to Touch ID integration.
— Shopify (@Shopify) April 20, 2017
While this is a great move for game developers looking to further monetize their mobile titles, there is potential for content creators to abuse the platform, coupling game-related micro-transactions with additional in-game t-shirt sales.
Still, if used conservatively and in a way that makes sense — it will also help if the developers sell items actually worth buying — this could be a positive move for the mobile gaming space.
Shopify also recently announced its new Shopify Pay platform designed to make mobile transactions faster and simpler, as well as a new U.S.-exclusive mobile point of sale terminal designed to compete directly with Square.