A study of the drivers influencing players of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games to make micro-transactional purchases
Millar, G. (2017). A study of the drivers influencing players of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games to make micro-transactional purchases (Thesis, Master of Digital Business (MDigiBus)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11569
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11569
This research project examines what motivates game players to purchase virtual items within the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, League of Legends. This MOBA is one of the most commercially successful free-to-play online games in recent years, however, the genre has received little attention in academic literature, and there is hardly any research on the game genre itself. Purchasing motivation for players of this game are obscure, as virtual items in online games typically have a functional, ‘in-game’ value, yet the most popular items within MOBA games do not have traditional functional values. This exploratory research aims to identify the drivers behind micro-transactional activity occuring in MOBA games, based on the attributes of the virtual items available for purchase, as well as examining the core motivators for MOBA game play. This study was conducted within the Oceanic region using a mixed methods approach, utilising semi-structured interviews analysed via thematic analysis, with findings from the qualitative research phase informing the design of a quantitative online survey. Notable findings include the absence of traditional immersive motivators for MOBA players, and identification of a unique play motivation known as mood repair. Additionally, the construct of identity for MOBA players is found to be remarkably different to that found in previous studies on other online games such as World of Warcraft, with gender having no impact on players’ selection of a character. A model for further confirmatory research into the drivers behind the micro-transactional activity of MOBA game players is also developed and proposed.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses