Free-to-play online games, funded by the sale of virtual items are renouncing the sale of those which provide a competitive advantage for those which are purely cosmetic, in order to keep competition pure. Recent quantitative research has discovered several motivations for the purchase of virtual items in general, but no study has directly explored the motivation to purchase cosmetic items (i.e. non-functional). This paper contributes here, by exploring the motivations of non-functional virtual item purchase through 16 interviews with western hardcore gamers of League of Legends. The results reveal three superordinate purchasing motivations: hedonistic, social and social payments. The first two support existing knowledge in the field, however the latter, provides novel contribution. This is akin with other site such as Wikipedia, where users are motivated to invest money with the intention to reward and support the developers and to ensure its future existence. Future research and marketing implications are provided.
|Title of host publication||Creating Marketing Magic and Innovative Future Marketing Trends|
|Subtitle of host publication||Proceedings of the 2016 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2016|
|Name||Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science|
|Publisher||Springer International Publishing|