casa 19(18): e2

Research Article

How instability in virtual economies of mobile digital games drives and ruins profit

Download793 downloads
  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.13-7-2018.162632,
        author={P. C. Lohse},
        title={How instability in virtual economies of mobile digital games drives and ruins profit},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Context-aware Systems and Applications},
        volume={6},
        number={18},
        publisher={EAI},
        journal_a={CASA},
        year={2019},
        month={8},
        keywords={Freemium, mobile gaming, sunk cost fallacy, instability in virtual economies, core loops},
        doi={10.4108/eai.13-7-2018.162632}
    }
    
  • P. C. Lohse
    Year: 2019
    How instability in virtual economies of mobile digital games drives and ruins profit
    CASA
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.13-7-2018.162632
P. C. Lohse1,*
  • 1: Andrássy University, 1088 Budapest, Hungary
*Contact email: philipp.lohse@andrassyuni.hu

Abstract

The digital gaming business has changed in the last years. Digital games are no longer just products. They developed into services. People play games not only on a stationary device, but on mobile devices, too. The change of gaming devices also had an impact on game design. Competition between mobile digital games mostly takes place at a download price of zero. Today the Freemium monetization method is the dominant monetization method. Players of digital games often have to go through a core loop by repeating the same tasks inside the game. The stability of the virtual economy inside the game affects the game’s core loop. This paper discusses the role of instability in virtual economies in the context of core loops. A small instability inside a virtual economy can increase revenue of a digital game. Players tend to stay in a game because of sunk cost fallacy. If instability inside a virtual economy happens for a too long time players will quit playing and revenue will decrease.