Why do people buy virtual goods?

Vili Lehdonvirta has published his excellent research paper on virtual good sales over at VERN. He identifies nine attributes for items that define metrics people are using to value the item, all of which make sense based on my knowledge on this area. Part of the research has been done in Habbo.

The couple things that are missing from this classification that spring to mind are:

  • Versatility, or how many different types of application does the item have in your world, and
  • Multiplicity, meaning whether it makes sense to own just one copy of this item, or does it’s value increase if you own it in multiples

Anyway, I recommend you read the paper. There’s still a couple more papers yet to come out from Vili this year, which are at least as interesting as this one. Can’t wait for those to come out, too! :)

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