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Why do people buy virtual goods? A literature review

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 49th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)
Place of PublicationHawaii, USA
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication


This paper reviews quantitative literature that addresses the questions of what explains why people buy virtual goods. The study reviews independent and dependent variables, path coefficients, used methodologies, theoretical backgrounds as well as types of services covered in the relevant literature. The goal of the paper is both to provide an overview to the literature and to investigate reasons for virtual good purchase. The results in the body of literature reveal that, for example, purchase behavior is most strongly driven by how satisfied people are with the use of virtual goods and whether they have a positive attitude towards using real money in virtual environments. Moreover, people seem to purchase virtual goods in order to give a favorable image of themselves. Furthermore, interestingly the enjoyment of using the platform where the virtual goods are sold in does not predict virtual good purchases.