research-article

Spending real money: purchasing patterns of virtual goods in an online social game

Published:26 April 2014Publication History

ABSTRACT

Researchers have found that 'social' factors contribute to purchasing intentions of virtual goods in an online social game, but little is known about actual purchasing behavior. Study 1 examined the relationship between social factors and virtual goods purchasing patterns using large scale data obtained by server logs of an online social game. Exchange of virtual goods and number of friends increased the likelihood of spending real money compared to no spending. Among those who did spend real money, giving virtual goods to others was the strongest factor associated with the amount of spending. Study 2 examined purchasing patterns of players who spent real money: high real-money spenders were buying items for visual customization while low spenders were buying consumable items necessary to sustain playing the game.

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  1. Spending real money: purchasing patterns of virtual goods in an online social game

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