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Session Name Why Do People Buy Virtual Goods? Ten Attributes to Influence Desirability
Speaker(s) Vili Lehdonvirta
Company Name(s) Helsinki Institute for Information Technology
Track / Format Social & Online Games Summit
Overview Virtual goods have become a primary means for social and online game developers to attract, retain and monetize users. But what makes virtual goods so desirable that people are willing to spend real money to get them? Several answers have been put forward that consist of factors such as self-expression and competitive advantage. Such abstractions offer little guidance to the developer designing their next virtual item, however. In this presentation, the question is approached from a very practical angle: what attributes are important in a virtual good for making it desirable to the users? What attributes do the users look at in a virtual item when making a purchase decision? Using fascinating examples from the past ten years of Western and Asian virtual goods success stories, the presentation will arrive at a model of ten concrete virtual item attributes that designers can adjust to influence the desirability of their offerings.

GDC 2010

Vili Lehdonvirta

Helsinki Institute for Information Technology

free content

Social & Online Games Summit


UBM Tech