Does esports spectating influence game consumption?

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Contemporary digital technologies have facilitated practices related to games whereby users often produce and consume content for free. To date, research into consumer interactions has largely focused on in-game factors, however, the intention to both play the game and to make in-game purchases are influenced by outside factors, including game streams and game-centred communities. In particular, the growth of competitive gaming, known as esports, offers a new channel for consumer engagement. This research explores the potential for esports to be a significant factor in understanding both intentions to play and spend money on games. Our study draws from Motivations Scale of Sports Consumption to empirically investigate the relationship between esports spectating motivations and game consumption: Watching Intention, Gaming Intention, and Purchasing Intention. This survey uses structural equation modelling (SEM) to analyse data collected from a sample of video game players (n = 194). This research contributes empirical evidence of the relationship between esports spectating and game consumption, with the relationship between Watching Intention and Gaming Intention found to be particularly strong. Finally, while the MSSC is an adequate measure for esports spectating, additional aspects specific to esports require further investigation, consequently, there may be more optimal measures which can be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Esports
  • free-to-play
  • game consumption
  • purchase intention
  • video games
  • watching intention

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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