The tremendous market growth of mobile platforms for esports underscores the need to understand players' psychological states and consumption behavior. Based on flow theory, this study examines players' psychological states (flow and clutch experiences) and consumption behavior based on the interaction effects of playing frequency, playing duration and players' levels on the PC (LOL – League of Legends) and mobile (LOLWR – League of Legends: Wild Rift) versions of the same esports title.
Data were collected from 930 valid responses and analyzed with confirmatory factor analysis and multiple regression (PROCESS macro, Model 3).
There are two main findings. First, across PC and mobile participants, casual gamers (low playing frequency and duration) have firm purchase intention when they have a clutch experience, but flow experience hinders their purchasing intention. Second, hardcore gamers' (high playing frequency and duration) psychological states are clearly distinguished according to technological platforms. Flow experience is the most effective for their purchase intention in the PC platform, but both flow and clutch states are important in the mobile platform. Flow experience is essential overall for hardcore gamers to intend their in-game item purchasing.
This study has two primary originality/values. First, this study explores flow and clutch together to measure psychological states and the impact on the purchase intention of in-game items. Second, the interacting effects of playing frequency, duration, and skill level with technical platforms (i.e. PC and mobile) for esports gaming.
Chou, S.-Y., Jang, W.(W)., Ma, S.C., Chang, C.-H. and Byon, K.K. (2023), "Is mobile gaming a new pillar of esports? Exploring players' in-game purchases in PC and mobile platforms by using flow and clutch", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSMS-07-2022-0134
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