The new Shopify SDK lets game developers sell merch directly

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When You Got Skin In The Game, You Stay In The Game

Unity is one of the world’s most up to date game development programmes - and it’s about to get a whole lot easier for game developers to expand their business into ecommerce.

As part of Shopify Plus’s new rollout features, they’re releasing a software development kit (SDK) made especially to help people cross over between the gaming market and the online retail market. Game brands often have merch their gamers love - whether it be t-shirts, figurines, posters or audio/visual media. To sell that merchandise, they have to advertise and direct their users to a website where they can buy it.

A Game Changer

The Unity Buy SDK by Shopify now lets game developers making 2D or 3D games on Unity integrate a Shopify ecommerce store directly into the game. This means gamers will be able to add products to an in-game shopping cart directly. They’ll be able to do all the same things like select product quantities and options, and even pay with Apple Pay on iOS devices.

You don’t even have to sell your own merchandise. If you’re a gamemaker with an educational game for geography, you could sell maps or atlases that any other merchant makes through a partnership. This new SDK is opening up lots of possibilities for new ecommerce touchpoints.

What Are You Playing At?

One of the cool features of the SDK is the ability to gate access to products in your store. As in, you can make accessing a cool poster only available if you’ve beat Level 3. Gamers are already using this kind of logic every day. You only get the good tools, weapons, outfits etc if you’ve played - why not merchandise? Kind of similar to in-app purchases, now a merch store is available to any game developer using Unity.

Who’s The Winner?

Basically everybody. Gamers will have an easier time getting merchandise (while playing for it, if the developer wants), merchants will make conversions easier to achieve and open up new selling possibilities. You can check out the initial rollout with a merch store for the game Alto’s Adventures through Shopify.

The Unity Buy SDK is part of a rollout of features by Shopify Plus. Shopify Plus has all the amazing support and structure of Shopify, but with tons of customisable storefront features including SDKs of all sorts. The Unity Buy SDK isn’t widely available yet, but you can get started here.

Elkfox is here to help. We’re Shopify Experts, meaning we help ecommerce businesses grow and get closer to their goals using creative thinking and UX development. Give us a shout if you’re interested in learning more about the Unity SDK.