Explaining purchasing behavior within World of Warcraft

Yue Guo, Stuart J. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Virtual worlds, e.g. World of Warcraft (WoW) and RuneScape — have demonstrated huge economic potential. However, little empirical research has been conducted into players' purchase behavior in virtual worlds. This research was designed to help gain a better understanding of factors influencing purchase behavior in virtual worlds by empirically developing and testing a conceptual model of purchase behavior in virtual worlds. An online survey was conducted within WoW (n=253) and structural equation modeling was used to test the research model. Among the statistically significant paths found in the model, effort expectancy, performance expectancy, advancement, perceived value, customization, habit, enjoyment and perceived social status all have strong impact on players' purchase intention and actual purchase behavior. The study rounds off with a discussion and conclusions, highlighting implications for research and practice, research limitations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-30
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Computer Information Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • PLS
  • Purchase behavior
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Virtual world
  • World of Warcraft

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