Is Sociability or Interactivity more Effective for Enhancing Performance? Findings from a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

12 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-119
Journal / PublicationJournal of Interactive Marketing
Online published28 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


The essential issue currently challenging marketing managers in the virtual world is: How can a virtual world feature be designed to elevate consumers' purchase of virtual items and usage in the virtual world? Previous scholars have investigated the issue and have published their predictions on the individual level. Yet, they have done so without specifically addressing endogeneity or carryover effect among users and their activities. To alleviate this omission and potential methodological bias, we probe the impact of virtual world technological features on two performance criteria at the platform level. In addition, we differentiate two types of users (new vs returning users) and probe their distinct impact on purchase of virtual items and usage patterns in the virtual world. When using data from one virtual world and applying the vector auto regression model, results show that virtual world managers can elevate performance through promotion of both types of users' activities. The effects of these activities, however, are varied. Specifically, for returning users, interactivity leads to a more significant impact on consumers' purchase of virtual goods than sociability, while the opposite effect is applicable to usage in the virtual world. For new users, interactivity is more efficient for promotion of users' purchase of virtual goods than sociability, while the results are the opposite for usage in the virtual world.

Research Area(s)

  • New vs returning users, Purchase of virtual goods, Sociability vs interactivity, Usage in virtual world, Virtual goods, Virtual world

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Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

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