Predatory monetization schemes in video games (e.g. ‘loot boxes’) and internet gaming disorder

Daniel L. King, Paul H. Delfabbro

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

69 Citations (Scopus)


Video gaming is a billion‐dollar global industry which is continuously growing and evolving. An important innovation which has fuelled industry development has been the expansion of digital purchase options, including the emergence of virtual goods, that can be purchased from within the game in small payments termed ‘microtransactions’. In 2017, the game publisher Activision Blizzard reported that it had made more than $4 billion, or more than half its annual income, from microtransactions 1. Microtransactions enable players to obtain additional game content or premiums (e.g. virtual items, textures/skins, currency, levels or power‐ups). These types of purchases are common in mobile game revenue models where the base game is ‘free‐to‐play’, but the player is encouraged to spend money to make unimpeded progress in the game (i.e. overcome a ‘paywall’).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1967-1969
Number of pages3
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Internet gaming disorder
  • loot box
  • microtransaction
  • money
  • on-line game
  • predatory monetization


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