Although there’re studies that investigate the factors affecting the intention to purchase virtual items in virtual worlds, most of these studies focus on the technological factors that enhance user experience (e.g., social presence) while pay less attention to the social factors that facilitate user participation and involvement (e.g., user engagement). To fill this gap, taking MMORPGs as a kind of virtual world, this study examines both the impacts of technological factors and social factors from an integrative perspective of social presence and user engagement. A survey from 214 World of Warcraft players has been conducted to test the proposed research model. The results show that 1) both social presence and user engagement positively influence flow which further leads to intention to purchase virtual products 2) two technological factors interactivity and sociability affect social presence, and 3) two social factors social ties and social identity affect user engagement. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are also discussed.
Jin, Wei and Sun, Yongqiang, "Understanding the Antecedents of Virtual Product Purchase in MMORPG: An Integrative Perspective of Social Presence and User Engagement" (2015). PACIS 2015 Proceedings. 191.