How do social networks foster online gamer loyalty? Perspective of weak/strong tie theory

Gen Yih Liao, Huynh Van Nguyen, T. C.E. Cheng, Ching I. Teng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Social networks are known to influence users of online information systems, including online games. However, the mechanism underlying the impact of social networks on online gamer loyalty has remained insufficiently understood. Grounded in weak/strong tie theory, we construct a research model to explore the mechanism. We collect responses from 1,874 online gamers and use structural equation modelling for data analysis and hypothesis testing. We find that network convergence and interdependence are positively related to gamer-game relationship characteristics, i.e., length, depth, and breadth. Such relationship characteristics further contribute to online gamer loyalty. We also find that relationship depth (compared with relationship breadth) has a stronger impact on online gamer loyalty. This is the first theory-driven study using gamer-game relationship characteristics to explain how network convergence and interdependence can lead to online gamer loyalty. Our findings provide novel insights for game managers on how to effectively retain their gamers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101437
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Loyalty
  • Online game
  • Relationship characteristics
  • Social network
  • Structural equation modelling
  • Weak/strong tie theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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