Crafting Identity in League of Legends - Purchases as a Tool to Achieve Desired Impressions

AbstractWithin the industry of computer games, one game genre with increasing popularity is Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA). The diffusion of MOBAs within in the last decade is accompanied by a remarkable economic success and leaping revenues. This development is particularly interesting since MOBAs follow a free-to-play business model in which the majority of purchases consists of virtual items solely of hedonic value. Although research has already identified meaningful explanations in different contexts, an answer to the question what motivates players to purchase virtual items in the context of the most successful MOBA game League of Legends is still scarce. We use the social identity approach and self-presentation theory simultaneously to explain purchases, investigate predictors of self-presentation and explore effects of different self-presentation strategies (self-promotion, ingratiation, exemplification, intimidation, and supplication) on purchases. Results of our survey (n=209) indicate that identification and self-presentation hold the potential to explain purchases.

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