Negativists, enthusiasts and others: a typology of players in free-to-play games

Vojtěch Klézl, Stephen Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel multidimensional typology of free-to-play gamers, based on the theory of consumption values and to test whether these types of gamers differ in their premium content consumer purchasing behavior. The study uses a survey of 839 Czech free-to-play gamers, where the players’ values are tested across 27 items. Factor analysis is used to identify 6 different factors (values) influencing the gamers, which are then used as variables in a cluster analysis to identify 5 distinct gamer types. Results show that each identified gamer type differs not only in gaming (length of gameplay) but also in purchasing behavior (current purchase and future purchase intention, average monthly spend). One new gamer type, previously unidentified in the literature, has been identified (the enthusiasts), alongside the development of additional details for three of the more “standard” game types (economic aesthetes, identification seekers and killers). Gamers from the Czech Republic are used in the sample, limiting the generalizability of the study. The research complements existing gamer typologies by developing an empirically supported view of free-to-play gamers that is based on value, which results in the identification of one new gamer type. We also extend consumption values theory by identifying the multi-dimensional impact of value characteristics on purchase behavior in a context of emerging commercial and social importance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7939-7960
Number of pages22
JournalMultimedia Tools and Applications
Issue number5
Early online date16 Aug 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2022


  • Track 4: Digital Games, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality
  • Computer games
  • Player typology
  • Free-to-play games
  • Purchasing behavior
  • Virtual goods


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