THE TRANSITION FROM ‘PAID PC/CONSOLE GAMES’ TO ‘FREEMIUM MOBILE GAMES’: FOCUSING ON USERS’ REACTIONS TO AND PRICE TOLERANCE OF IN-APP PURCHASE ITEMS
This study examines how customers react to online games that transition from being ‘Paid PC/console Games to ‘Freemium Mobile Games in the context of the game series “Diablo”. In particular, this study focuses on three factors as customer reactions: behavioral intention to play a freemium mobile game, behavioral intention to make in-app purchases, and price tolerance of in-app purchases. The study adapts three relevant variables (expertise, experience, and social influence) from the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT2) and brand loyalty as independent variables to examine their impact on game users’ reactions. An online survey was conducted among two groups of Diablo users: (1) current experienced users and (2) prospective online game users without Diablo experience. The theoretical contributions, practical implications, and limitations of the research are discussed based on the findings of this research.