The avatar's new clothes: An examination of the motivations to purchase cosmetic virtual items in free-to-play games (a structured abstract)

David Gattig, Ben Marder, Jan Kietzmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreating Marketing Magic and Innovative Future Marketing Trends
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference
Pages327-332
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-45596-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Print)2363-6165

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