This paper aims to offer a comprehensive perspective into Free-to-Play gamers’ attitudes, feelings toward and perceived value of in-app purchases (IAPs).
The study is based on a twofold qualitative methodology using an inductive approach: user-generated YouTube videos and gamers’ online reviews posted on Play stores.
Eight topics have emerged out from the qualitative data related to the characteristics of a good/bad IAP, the IAPs as downsides, the ambiguity with traditional Pay-to-Play games, the financial-risk issues, the resistance behaviors, the worries about over-spending and addiction and the frustration mechanism.
By focusing on IAPs, this research contributes to build an integrative overview to better understand how players deal with IAPs and how this interaction should be analyzed in the light of multiple frameworks. Emphasis is placed on a continuum of player responses from tolerant metacognition to high degree of subversion.
A twofold netnographic approach offers a novel contribution to the field of mobile games by bringing together two materials increasingly connected to the video game universe. It also brought to the fore an experiential context by providing insight into the underlying dynamics of Player/IAP interactions.
Preliminary version of this paper appears in Ravoniarison A. and Benito C. (2017), Freeloaders to Spending Players: How Do Free-to-Play Gamers Truly Perceive the In-App Purchases? An Extended Abstract, in: Rossi P. (Ed.), Marketing at the Confluence between Entertainment and Analytics, Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer.
Ravoniarison, A. and Benito, C. (2019), "Mobile games: players’ experiences with in-app purchases", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 62-78. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-06-2016-0060Download as .RIS
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