For whom does flow not enhance online gamer loyalty?

Thi Tuan Linh Pham, Han Chung Huang, Fan Chen Tseng, T. C.E. Cheng, Ching I. Teng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Flow, or total concentration with intrinsic enjoyment, has been recognized as being able to enhance online gamer loyalty. However, some gamers who experience flow do not exhibit strong loyalty, posing the vital research question asking for whom flow would not enhance loyalty. Limited knowledge on this issue may lead game providers to assume that flow is influential in strengthening loyalty among all gamers, thus leading to suboptimal resource allocation and reduced effectiveness in retaining gamers. The purpose of the paper is to examine how gaming experience and gaming intensity moderate the impact of flow on online gamer loyalty. Design/methodology/approach: In the paper, the hypotheses were tested using responses from 273 gamers. Findings: The findings show that flow and gaming experience positively impact gamer loyalty. Gaming experience reduces the positive relationship between flow and gamer loyalty. However, gaming intensity does not reduce. Practical implications: Game providers should focus on creating a flow experience to strengthen the loyalty of gamers with short-gaming experience. However, game providers should devise other means to strengthen loyalty among gamers with long-gaming experience. Originality/value: The study challenged the assumption of flow theory, i.e. that flow always determines loyalty. Instead, the paper offers a moderator – gaming experience – which sets a boundary condition for this theory. Flow works well only among gamers with relatively short-gaming experience. The study also extended the literature on gaming experience by uniquely indicating its attenuating effect on the relation between flow and loyalty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-234
Number of pages20
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022


  • Flow
  • Gaming experience
  • Loyalty
  • Online game
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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