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The role of Internet addiction in online game loyalty: an exploratory study

Hsi‐Peng Lu (Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
Shu‐ming Wang (Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 17 October 2008

8889

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's aim is to explore the factors that affect the online game addiction and the role that online game addiction plays in the relationship between online satisfaction and loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

A web survey of online game players was conducted, with 1,186 valid responses collected. Structure equation modeling – specifically partial least squares – was used to assess the relationships in the proposed research framework.

Findings

The results indicate that perceived playfulness and descriptive norms influence online game addiction. Furthermore, descriptive norms indirectly affect online game addiction through perceived playfulness. Addiction also directly contributes to loyalty and attenuates the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty. This finding partially explains why people remain loyal to an online game despite being dissatisfied.

Practical implications

Online gaming vendors should strive to create amusing game content and to maintain their online game communities in order to enhance players' perceptions of playfulness and the effects of social influences. Also, because satisfaction is the most significant indicator of loyalty, vendors can enhance loyalty by providing better services, such as fraud prevention and the detection of cheating behaviors.

Originality/value

The value of this study is that it reveals the moderating influences of addiction on the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship and factors that contribute to the online game addiction. Moreover, while many past studies focused on addiction's negative effects and on groups considered particularly vulnerable to Internet addiction, this paper extends previous work by investigating the relationship of addiction to other marketing variables and by using a more general population, mostly young adults, as research subjects.

Keywords

Citation

Lu, H. and Wang, S. (2008), "The role of Internet addiction in online game loyalty: an exploratory study", Internet Research, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 499-519. https://doi.org/10.1108/10662240810912756

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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