Exploring virtual goods purchase intentions: an integrated SEM-NCA approach in online gaming

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Mkedder N., Bakir M., Aldhabyani Y., ÖZATA F. Z.



PurposeVirtual goods consumption has risen dramatically in recent years. Recognizing the benefits of virtual goods in generating revenue for online game companies, marketers strive to understand the motives behind virtual goods purchases. We investigated the direct and indirect effects of functional, emotional, and social values through player satisfaction on purchase intention toward virtual goods among online players.Design/methodology/approachIn total, we surveyed 332 online game players utilizing a structured questionnaire. We employed a multi-analytic approach combining partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) and necessary condition analysis (NCA) to examine the proposed relationships.FindingsThe findings show that all dimensions of value and player satisfaction significantly affect the intention to acquire virtual goods. However, social value does not exert a significant effect on player satisfaction. Moreover, we confirmed that player satisfaction mediates the relationships between functional value, emotional value, and purchase intention. Furthermore, NCA results indicated that all predictors in the model are necessary conditions of purchase intention for virtual goods.Originality/valueThese findings contribute to an enhanced understanding of purchase intentions among online game players from a symmetric (PLS-SEM) and asymmetric (NCA) perspective by proposing a multi-analytic approach.