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School of Business | Department of Business Technology | Information Systems Science | 2010
Thesis number: 12436
Tangibility preference and involvement as predictors of willingness to pay for digitally distributed video games
Author: Kaijanen, Tapani
Title: Tangibility preference and involvement as predictors of willingness to pay for digitally distributed video games
Year: 2010  Language: eng
Department: Department of Business Technology
Academic subject: Information Systems Science
Index terms: tietojärjestelmät; information systems; digitaalitekniikka; digital technology; jakelutiet; distribution channels
Pages: 91
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12436.pdf pdf  size:3 MB (2376073)
Key terms: consumer involvement; digital distribution; tangibility preference; video games
The aim of this study was to examine the role of tangibility preference and involvement in video game consumers’ willingness to pay for a digitally distributed version of a typical game purchase. In addition to tangibility preference and involvement, predictors were extracted from previous research on information goods. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied, emphasizing statistical analysis of survey data collected from a video game enthusiasts’ internet forum.

Recent academic literature relevant to entertainment industries and digitally distributed entertainment goods was reviewed in order to build a research model for the empirical part of the thesis. The literature review established a conceptual background for information goods, consumer involvement, willingness to pay and adoption of new technologies, and compared alternative methods for measuring these constructs in a survey. Furthermore, the central roles of physical tangibility and tactile experiences in video game entertainment were discussed. The current situation of digital piracy and its relevance to the video game industry was also examined.

In the empirical part of the thesis, an incentive aligned web survey was performed on the web forum of a Finnish video game magazine. A total of 210 responses were collected during a period of 7 days. The survey was open to the general public, but only subscribers of the magazine were eligible for the incentive. The survey was not marketed outside of the web forum.

Statistical analysis of the data revealed that in this sample, game console digital distribution technology acceptance and product class involvement were the strongest positive predictors of willingness to pay (WTP) for a digitally distributed game, while tangibility preference (TP) and age were the strongest negative predictors.

In the case of WTP disparity (i.e. the percentage difference between WTP for the physically distributed game and its digitally distributed alternative), TP and age were the strongest positive predictors. Furthermore, acceptance of the associated digital distribution technology was the strongest negative predictor. It was also shown that WTP disparity is not always in favor of the physically distributed game: 11.9% of respondents had zero disparity, and two participants might have paid more for the digitally distributed version.

In this study, attitude towards piracy was not found to be a statistically significant predictor for willingness to pay.

Analysis of collected qualitative data showed that for many consumers, aftermarket and game collecting related issues are important in making value judgments between a physically distributed game and its digitally distributed counterpart.
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