The interest in social virtual worlds with multiple functions has mushroomed during the past few years. The key challenge social virtual worlds face while attempting to anchor and serve the masses is to reflect the core beliefs of their users. As existing research lacks insight into these core beliefs, this study aims to contribute to the existing knowledge base by proposing and testing a model grounded on the decomposed theory of planned behavior. Predicated on the multipurpose nature of social virtual worlds, the model proposes medium-specific attitudinal, normative and control beliefs as determinants of continual use intention. The model is tested with a sample of 2175 users who inhabit Habbo Hotel - one of the largest social virtual worlds in the industry. The results indicate significant though different influences of attitudinal and control beliefs. The most fundamental finding is the irrelevance of normative beliefs, which puts the social character of social virtual worlds into perspective. © The Author(s) 2012.