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Why do you buy from MMO cash shops?

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Why do you buy from MMO cash shops?

Post by TheHidden01 on Tue May 17, 2016 3:53 pm


If you still aren’t convinced that a great deal of MMORPG monetization is just gambling in disguise, consider that an acclaimed academic on the psychology of gambling has taken up the topic: Dr Mark Griffiths has published another piece on Gamasutra, this one outlining a rather pro-gaming qualitative study on the reasons gamers buy virtual assets in online games.

“Despite the negative aspects of online gaming, the gamers in our study emphasised a more positive side to buying virtual items and gaming more generally,” Griffiths explains. “Item exclusivity and item function were major motivating factors and contributed to an item’s importance in-game. Another key motivation for purchase behaviour was the appeal to social status. Attainment of items demonstrates to others how powerful the gamer is. Naturally, if an item has benefits for the avatar it is more likely that the gamer will spend money to obtain it. Function linked to progression, purchasing items, and buying in-game currency are all sometimes a necessity to progress. Novelty and collectability were also important motivators for some of our gamers.”

And despite the assumption that big spenders are casual gamers, the study found that buyers are generally “dedicated gamers who spent relatively large amounts of time online” who heavily researched their purchases rather than just impulse-bought whatever is flashed on the screen. That resonates with me and the gamers I hang out with for sure. Personally, I tend to buy content like classes and locations first and foremost, followed by carefully selected cosmetic gear that will have a huge impact on how I (and other people) perceive my character.

Assuming you buy stuff in MMO cash shops — why do you do it? What’s your core motivation?

TH

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