The past few years free-to-play games such as Fortnite are becoming increasingly successful in the industry, driven largely by downloadable content (DLC). Downloadable content is add-ons to games that benefit consumers and are driven by positive network effects by an increasing userbase, the users realize the game has a higher utility due to more users playing causing DLC purchases to rise. This study examines how free-to-play games and premium games expenditures benefit from positive network externalities through an increase in users. A sample of 37 observations regarding the top earning free and premium games and a sample of 95 of the top ranked games from 2018 to 2019 are used in this study. I argue that free-to-play games have a larger positive influence than premium games and then analyze an equation regarding to my hypothesis. Four regression models are run using a Pooled-OLS methodology and robust standard errors. Two of the four specifications use revenue per player as the dependent variable and the other two use a consumer rank. Overall, the results show that the variables tested were not statistically significant.


Long, Melanie



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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