Amazon begins offering physical products in games, VR

FILE - The price of Amazon stock is shown on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in New York. Amazon reports earnings on Thursday, April 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amazon wants you to buy something while you’re having fun.

On Tuesday, the company launched a new service, called “Amazon Anywhere,” that will allow customers to purchase physical products from its online store while playing video games or interacting in virtual reality.

With the new service, customers can purchase items from Amazon without having to leave the game, or whatever mobile app they might be using, the company said.

The program mirrors similar efforts by companies like Nike and Gucci, who’ve launched initiatives aimed at attracting gamers and shoppers in the metaverse. But most shopping options launched in virtual worlds offer virtual goods, or other digital items - not physical products.

Amazon said its new service will be launched within Peridot, an augmented reality game from Pokémon Go developer Niantic. The retailer said gamers can link their Amazon account to the game, and purchase T-Shirts, hoodies, phone accessories and throw pillows featuring characters from the game.

The company said on its website that its looking to partner with more developers for the service, which is currently only offered by invitation.