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A new partnership with the virtual social community IMVU gives you access to their 100 million+ registered users by allowing them to play your games with their own personalized 3D avatars.

IMVU is a virtual universe where members meet, chat and interact using customizable 3D avatars. They can personalize their avatars with clothing, tattoos, jewelry, furniture and a host of other virtual goods from a catalog of over 20 million items and growing every day. Remarkably, most of those millions of items were created by IMVU users themselves who identify strongly with their avatars and their community.

Bringing IMVU users into your games

With the IMVU API for Unity, available for free on the Asset Store, you can leverage IMVU’s huge  base of loyal customers by allowing them to use their avatars within your game experience. A fully Mecanim-ready skeleton means that the avatars will function as a natural part of your game.

Once in your game, you can allow users to change into their various IMVU outfits, or you can equip them with your in-game items that drive your gameplay. And support for loading friends’ avatars  means their existing IMVU friends can easily be brought into the game, too.

In a single-user game, the user’s friends could populate an audience, for example. With multi-user support in place, they could meet their IMVU friends as fellow players.

Emotionally invested users

The fact that users actively create and personalize their own online alter egos has been a big part of IMVU’s success in attracting and retaining members.

“People really live in the product, and the avatars themselves really feel alive,” says Ken Bradley, Director of Engineering at IMVU.

“They can dress them up, adopt an identity and become anything from a warlock to a supermodel,” Bradley says. “The avatars have become a vital part of people’s lives and identities.”

Unity developers can capitalize on this emotional investment

According to Jamie Madigan, the author of Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games, new research shows that allowing gamers to use their own personalized avatars can enhance their enjoyment of your game.

Bradley, who recognizes this phenomenon from the world of IMVU, offers an example, which illustrates how personal avatars can make a game more compelling:

“One of our engineers grabbed a little 3D Pac-man game and walked around the office. At first, people weren’t interested in playing it. But all of a sudden, when they saw their own avatar as the Pac-man and their friends as the ghosts, it added a whole new dimension to the game,” Bradley says.  “The fact that people can see their own identity in your game is huge.”

To see the full list of IMVU features available and coding examples, visit the  Asset Store.

Join the IMVU API for Unity discussion here

15 replies on “Tap into millions of engaged IMVU users”

The 0.5.2 Release is now live. Here are the release notes

* This release requires Unity 5.3.2.
ImvuAnimator.Reset() and assetInfo.ResetAttachmentIdleActions() have been removed from the API.

New Features:
* Support for Unity 5.3.2.
* Morph targets exposed as BlendShapes. (Thanks DimitriX89)
* Eye gaze allows control of where the eyes are looking. (See the new Gaze demo.)
* Access the user’s wallet to get their credit balance. (This is a precursor to the work underway on monetization.)
* Better error messaging when IMVU’s oAuth settings are incomplete or broken.

Bug Fixes:
* Creating the IMVU settings files no longer breaks if the IMVUnity folder is moved. (Thanks Eelstork!)
* Outfit demo now looks proper on non-mobile screens. * Animation bug fixes
* The package no longer requires Unity’s “iOS build support” component to be installed (Thanks KFir!)

Sweet. Instead of getting more bugfixes we got even more useless junk and “services”. Yay!
Gotta love Unity.

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