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Ready Player Me has built a cross-game avatar platform and today it released alpha access to a new suite of monetization tools and premium avatar collections.
These moves will let app creators tap into the $100 billion dollar digital goods economy by selling avatar skins, clothing, and items directly in their apps. Alpha partners utilizing the tools include Hiber, Wink, and Omlet Arcade; other Ready Player Me developers can apply for beta access to the tools here. Ready Player Me makes it easy for users to build avatars and use them in more than one game.
“Partnering with Ready Player Me enables us to move our monetization strategy forward by delivering embeddable 3D commerce experiences to brands, artists and creators,” said Michael Yngfors, CEO of Hiber, in a statement. “We’ve seamlessly worked with their new tools and APIs to launch an in-world storefront in HiberWorld for The Outer Kingdoms collection. Now, any brand or artist can use HiberWorld to easily create their own 3D commerce experience for avatar outfits and reach millions of users.”
As part of this alpha launch with selected partners, Ready Player Me is opening access to its new Asset Manager, Transaction API, and its first sellable avatar collections.
The Asset Manager lets developers create, upload, and publish outfits for sale directly in their app. Additionally published assets will soon be available for sale throughout the entire Ready Player Me Network, giving developers the ability to sell cross-game.
The Transactions API powers transactions and revenue sharing, giving developers the ability to build storefronts — either through app interfaces or directly in virtual stores that can be visited in-world.
The first avatar collection, The Outer Kingdoms, is available for sale directly through partner storefronts. The launch partners include HiberWorld, Wink, and Omlet Arcade. Additional avatar collections will be launched on an ongoing basis.
The in-app purchase market in 2022 hit $141.75 billion, and it is expected to compound yearly. With much of this spending going to avatars, developers increasingly need better ways to monetize through skin, clothing, and item sales.
These new features are built API-first, with native integration into game engines such as Unity or Unreal, allowing broad access and saving development time and resources. Through Ready Player Me’s interoperable network, assets will achieve peak cross-game potential through their utility in not one, but over thousands of different apps and games.
“Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Roblox have proved the game economy of the future is powered by avatar monetization,” said Timmu Toke, CEO of Ready Player Me, in a statement. “Until now, unless you were a AAA studio, you couldn’t take advantage of the avatar economy. Now, we’ve made it possible for every developer, regardless of size, to create and sell avatar skins and items in-game, and across thousands of connected experiences that integrate with our platform.”
Check out my fireside chat with Toke at SXSW in March, when the company had 6,000 games and apps. Since that time, Ready Player Me’s apps have grown and are now used across 9,000 apps and games.
The alpha launch is available to select Ready Player Me developers. Developers who have not yet signed up with Ready Player Me can do so at readyplayer.me/developers.
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