Walmart Releases Software Development Kit to Simplify In-Game Commerce Integrations

Walmart is helping Unity developers sell products in their games and apps.

Walmart has teamed up with gaming development platform Unity to offer its developers the ability to integrate Walmart commerce functionality into the games and apps they build.

Unity is one of leading platforms for the development of real-time 3D content, with a suite of software and AI solutions that enable game and app developers to build and run immersive 2D and 3D content and experiences for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles and augmented and virtual reality devices. More than 1.1 million developers use the Unity editor monthly, and the platform powers an average of 3.6 billion downloads each month.

Walmart’s new Unity software development kit (SDK) will enable game and app creators to natively integrate Walmart’s commerce APIs into their projects, allowing users to buy physical goods directly within games and apps without leaving the virtual environment. The integration also enables developers to increase their monetization capabilities by receiving affiliate commissions on certain physical purchases made at Walmart.

“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, VP and General Manager of Metaverse Commerce at Walmart’s innovation division, Store No. 8, in a statement. “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.”

This isn’t Walmart’s first move into the realm of what it calls “immersive commerce.” Over the past year, Walmart has been testing commerce integrations in a number of online environments, including several built on Unity, such as the debut of the House Flip mobile game, an integration into the Zepeto metaverse environment and the release of the Avakin Life app, which 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 its first virtual clothing line, CoreMood Collective, and has debuted a number of Roblox experiences.

“This announcement paves the way for new innovation in commerce for games and other virtual experiences,” said Marc Whitten, President of Create at Unity in a statement. “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.”