It’s Not Real Money – It’s Robux!

Children today are spending more time online than ever before, and a huge part of that time is spent gaming. Headlines regularly shout about children spending hundreds of pounds on Fortnite skins or Robux – but what drives these decisions and where does the value lie for our youth?

It seems that gone are the days of emptying the piggy bank to buy sweets from the corner shop – cash has been replaced by cards and apps, and we live in an age of digital spend where microtransactions are king. Child spenders convert their pocket money to in-game power ups, coins, and cosmetics, but their decision-making processes and motivations vary, as do the games they play and how they play.

In this session, we discuss our European study of children’s attitudes towards money and their in-game spending habits, which we combine into a series of typologies of child gamers and spenders. From improved performance to easier social relations to cosmetic benefits – we explore the underlying drivers.

Based on the children’s varying need states and digital habits we identify how we can build games for this audience – ethically, commercially and, as ever, to delight them.