What motivates people to purchase virtual items via gacha mechanics of video games? A case study of Chinese game players

Zeng, Ziyan (2018) What motivates people to purchase virtual items via gacha mechanics of video games? A case study of Chinese game players. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

Game industry is booming nowadays. Regarding the rapid expansion of global games market, more companies have not only devoted themselves to entertain consumers, but have also kept on innovating the business models to adapt to the times. Thus, a variety of new monetization methods are created by combining the features of traditional monetization schemes. Gacha mechanism is the monetization method created via combining the idea of vending machine of capsule toys with traditional in-game purchase method. Though the introduction of it brings in a huge success in enhancing the profitability of video games in many countries, due to its feature of randomness that players cannot assess the in-game content before actually purchasing it through this type of mechanics, the adoption of gacha mechanism in video games stays in controversial just like gambling activities.

Regarding the controversies about it being as a variant of gambling activity, this research aimed at figuring out the reasons for game players purchasing in-game content via gacha mechanics and intended to build up a general factor analysis model for purchasing behaviors via gacha mechanism. Besides, in order to detect whether there is variance among game players with different game habits, this research also conducted chi-squared test of independence. The primary data were generated from online questionnaires spread through social network platform Weibo. 607 Chinese video game players who had certain game experience via gacha mechanism were analyzed in this investigation. From the results of investigation, “collect game props as a personal interest”, “want to support games/game companies” and “just want to invest games as a hobby” are reported as 3 of most important reasons for purchase in-game content via gacha mechanism. From, the results of chi-square test indicates that players with different game habits (average gaming time per day/attitude towards in-game purchases) have their own preference on answers. Players with less average gaming time tend to less likely triggered by reasons like “realizing the in-game achievement”, “colleting game props as a personal interest” and “investing game as a hobby”, and players who give higher priority to in-game purchases tend to be easier motivated by most of reasons (exclude continuing play, less effort to gain better/rare items, sensation seeking and cost-effectiveness of gacha mechanics). Lastly, the factor analysis framework is formed, and it explains players’ purchasing behaviors via gacha in different aspects involving psychological inducements, accomplishing game goals easier, economic rationales, and game content exploration.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: video game, in-game purchases, gacha mechanism, gambling
Depositing User: Zeng, Ziyan
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 15:35
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 15:35
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/54076

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