Gamers' Reasons for Purchasing Gaming Virtual Products: A Systematic Review

Shaohua Huo, Wan Anita Wan Abas, Moniza Waheed


With the development of the gaming industry, the trend of gaming virtual goods consumption is gradually growing, and online gaming goods consumption has become a hot topic. Players spend a lot of money purchasing virtual items. Why do people buy these items? Therefore, we conduct a systematic literature review to investigate the reasons for purchasing virtual goods in games. We use the “The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses” (PRISMA) statement to guide the data collection, analysis and reporting project for the systematic review. This article obtained 37 papers from the Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus databases. The article covers research during the period 2013-2023. We review the independent and dependent variables, research methods, theoretical background, and findings involved in the relevant literature. The study finds that the "enjoyment", "social attributes" and "functional value" of gaming products often play a key role in consumer purchases at certain times and among certain user groups. It is the hope of this paper that these findings will increase gaming companies' understanding of what drives players to purchase virtual items. Game designers can grasp the needs of game users and better convert ideas into payment points so that game companies can get higher profits.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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