Virtual Goods are non-physical objects and money purchased for use in online communities and online games. Digital goods, on the other hand, can be a broader category that includes digital books, music, movies, and more. Virtual goods are by definition intangible. Virtual goods, including digital gifts and digital clothing for avatars, may be classified as services rather than goods, and are typically marketed by companies that operate social networking services, community sites, and online games. The sale of virtual goods is sometimes called microtransactions, and games that use this model are usually called freemium games.

Scholarly Articles

The Development of Social Influence and Aesthetic on Purchase Intention

...This study generates a new perspective that describes purchase intention on virtual goods in Massively Multiplayer Online Social Games (MMOSG), Audition, in Indonesia.....

Video Face Recognition of Virtual Currency Trading System Based on Deep Learning Algorithms

...Firstly, a reliable virtual currency trading system model is proposed, which is composed of four participant platforms, providers and payers, mainly including the purchase of virtual currency, purchase of virtual goods or services, exchange of virtual currency and other trading activities.....

Monetary theory reversed: Virtual currency issuance and the inflation tax

...Declining virtual currency issuance, like in Bitcoin, raises the price of virtual goods, which counteracts the traditional impact of a reduced inflation tax.....

Uses and Gratification on Virtual Purchase Behavior of Mobile Game Items: An Alternative Approach

...This study aims to predict the behavior of purchase decisions for virtual goods, especially for PUBG Mobile game players, using a use and gratification approach, as well as perceived value as mediation.....

Perceived value and willingness to consume in online mobile games

...We investigated the relationship between perceived value of virtual goods and willingness to consume virtual goods in online mobile games, and examined the roles of gamers’ intention to use virtual goods and extraversion in this relationship.....

Attitudinal and Behavioral Loyalty Toward Virtual Goods

...ABSTRACT The relationship between loyalty, purchasing of virtual goods, and use behavior of mobile instant messaging (MIM) was examined.....

Relationship between Perceived Ease of Use, Perceived Usefulness and Motivation Opportunity Ability Theory in Online Gamers Know-How Exchange

...Business needs to take advantage of Indonesian online gamers who are using online community to communicate and interact, when gamers share their reviews of game, for example, or when they post reviews of their purchases of virtual goods from online games.....

The Effect of Consumption Values on Purchase Behavior for Virtual Goods in Mobile Game

...The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the users’ perceived consumption values on their purchase behavior for virtual goods in mobile game.....

Optimal Pricing of Virtual Goods with Conspicuous Features in a Freemium Model

...ABSTRACT In a freemium business model, the pricing of virtual goods with conspicuous features is a key challenge, because firms face a trade-off between increasing the total installed base and maintaining scarcity.....

Virtual Colonization

...Can it truly be optimal for a low-income economy to specialize in the production of virtual goods? What impact would these interactions have on different sectors of the nation-state? Do virtual societies encourage virtual colonization?.....

Evolution and Transformation of the Central Place Theory in E-Business: China’s C2C Online Game Marketing

...The results indicate that virtual goods in China’s C2C online game marketing are distributed in areas with high economic development and where residents have high purchasing power.....

Is Sociability or Interactivity more Effective for Enhancing Performance? Findings from a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game

...Specifically, for returning users, interactivity leads to a more significant impact on consumers' purchase of virtual goods than sociability, while the opposite effect is applicable to usage in the virtual world.....

Taking College Esports Seriously

...In-game economies in MMORPGs depend upon the extraction of virtual goods to advance in the game.....

Attitudinal and Behavioral Loyalty Toward Virtual Goods

...ABSTRACTThe relationship between loyalty, purchasing of virtual goods, and use behavior of mobile instant messaging (MIM) was examined.....

Associations between loot box use, problematic gaming and gambling, and gambling-related cognitions.

...Loot boxes are virtual goods in video games that produce randomly-generated in-game rewards, and have attracted scrutiny because of a resemblance to gambling.....

Game Mechanics in the Virtual Environment: Revenue Recognition of Virtual Goods

...This paper studies the practice of recognizing revenue from the sale of virtual goods.....

Social influence in first-time and upgrade adoption

...Study 2 implemented a field study to identify the effects of peer adoption of virtual goods, with 897,765 participants: 28,730 first-time adopters and 15,056 upgraders.....

Virtual money

Virtual money (or in-game currency) is used to purchase virtual goods within various online communities such as social networking websites, virtual worlds, and online gaming sites. A key revenue driver within social media, virtual currency is unique within each game and is used to purchase in-game merchandise. A virtual world character or avatar owns things within the context of the virtual world, and users collect virtual currency in each game that is used to enhance lands, goods, stats, or add points. Purchase various items. Some Virtual Currencies are time-based and rely on measuring in-game achievements to earn redeemable points.


The first virtual goods sold were items used in MUDs, early graphical online multiplayer games on the PLATO system, and text-only games on other computers. This practice continued with the advent of MMORPGs. Players sold virtual goods such as swords, coins, potions, and avatars to each other in the informal sector. This practice is banned in most blockbuster online games such as World of Warcraft, but many online games now make money from the sale of virtual goods. In 1997, Iron Realms Entertainment became the first company to profit from the sale of virtual goods when it began auctioning items to players of MUD, Achaea, and Dreams of Divine Lands. However, it was not until the mid-2000s that the sale of virtual goods began to be introduced as a legitimate monetization scheme, spearheaded by companies such as South Korea's Cyworld. With 70% of global sales made in the region between 2007 and 2010, virtual goods may continue to be a phenomenon primarily in Asia.

= Revenue =

In 2009, games played on social networks such as Facebook, which generate revenue primarily from the sale of virtual goods, brought in US$1 billion, and is expected to rise to US$1.6 billion in 2010. Future market forecasts for these small items vary greatly depending on who makes the forecast. According to one analyst, sales will reach US$4 billion in 2013, while another analyst expects US$14 billion in a year's time. In 2010, a virtual space station from the game Entroopia Universe was sold for $330,000. The popular free-to-play video game Fortnite: Battle Royale has generated over $1 billion in revenue across all platforms. This revenue comes entirely from in-game purchases and, in the case of Fortnite, does not give the game any competitive advantage.


In online games, virtual goods can be lost due to unforeseen reasons. This creates problems for the service provider as well as the purchaser. Cryptographic techniques used primarily for other purposes may also provide functionality here. These may include access control, hashing, encryption, digital certificates and fingerprinting.

Illicit sale

Many companies accept the exchange of virtual goods for cash, but most blockbuster games that generate revenue from subscription fees prohibit this practice. This does not stop all players from saving playing time by illegally purchasing in-game currency with real-world cash from alternative sources, and in doing so violates agreements with game operators. will be China has outlawed the act of buying real-world goods. In 2009, cryptocurrencies were introduced and became popular in some parts of the country.

See also

skin gambling Walled garden (technology) virtual economy

Purchase Virtual Goods

Scholarly Articles

KEPUTUSAN PEMBELIAN VIRTUAL GOODS DITINJAU DARI KELOMPOK ACUAN, GAYA HIDUP DAN EVENT MARKETING (Studi pada players Mobile Legends: Bang Bang di Universitas Islam Batik Surakarta) was to analyze the simultaneous and partial influence of the reference group, lifestyle and event marketing on the decision to purchase virtual goods on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang players at the Islamic Batik University Surakarta.....

Exploring Factors Affecting Intention to Purchase Virtual Goods in Online Games

...The main objective of this research in investigating the factors that affecting intention to purchase virtual goods in online games.....

Science News



Definition & Meaning



  • being actually such in almost every respect existing in essence or effect though not in actual fact



  • benefit moral excellence or admirableness that which is pleasing or valuable or useful articles of commerce


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