Florent Pitoun, CEO and co-founder of FabZat, took the stage at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015 to talk about the potential of physical, 3D printed in-app purchases.
"Video games and figurines and real objects are meant to be friends," said Pitoun, pointing to the success of "phygital" toys that merge digital games with physical models, like Skylanders, amiibo, and Disney Infinity.
In the US, 40% of parents have purchased one of these franchises and bought the physical components for the game, spending $131 on average.
That kind of popularity has allowed a brand like Skylanders to earn $4.5 billion in the last three years, according to a recent report from the NPD.
There's a reason this kind of success has only been seen with big name franchises, though, and not just because of the name itself.
The use of phygital toys requires mass production, with at least 100,000 sold units required to be profitable. It also requires mass distribution and multi-year investments.
These are things that smaller studios who want to implement phygital toys in their games may not have access to.
And that's where FabZat comes in. Pitoun hopes to help developers bypass these barriers with the use of an in-app 3D printing plug-in called FabZat.
FabZat handles the ordering, billing, 3D printing, and shipping processes for phygital toys.
All developers need to do is implement the system into their in-app shop and create some kind of call to action in-game.
For instance, a player may be prompted to make their object or character "real," then be taken to a customization screen where they can create and refine a phygital toy, select the price and size, and then order the item.
The SDK for FabZat is free, and there are no entry fees or recurring fees.
FabZat launches later in 2015 and will deliver to more than 200 countries.