Variety in the video game industry: An empirical study of the Wundt curve

Daniel Kaimann*, Nadja Stroh-Maraun, Joe Cox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzes the effect of variety on consumer utility using historical behavioral information for 1,397 consumers participating in 729,049 unique rounds of play. We show that consumers generally exhibit a preference for variety as part of their gameplay utility. The relationship between variety and utility is nonlinear and follows, at least for some types of variety, an inverted u-shape as predicted by the Wundt curve. Our results represent the first such evidence on the importance of variety in video gaming, which has significant implications for consumption through optimization of gameplay utility to satisfy the demand for variety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalManagerial and Decision Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the Collabora-tive Research Centre “On-The-Fly Computing” (SFB 901) and the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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