Strengthening Loyalty of Online Gamers: Goal Gradient Perspective

Ching-I Teng
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 21, Number 1, 2016-17, pp. 132-151.


The growing popularity of online gaming emphasizes the importance of understanding how loyalty among online gamers can be strengthened. The goal gradient theory has not yet been adopted to examine how relationship characteristics (i.e., length, depth, and breadth) impact online gamer loyalty. Therefore, this study develops hypotheses based on that theory and uses structural equation modeling to test them. Responses from 5,144 online gamers were used for the analysis and the results indicate that relationship length, depth, and breadth were positively related to goal proximity (defined as the perception that a goal is close), which was further positively related to motivation to attain gaming goals, and consequently online gamer loyalty. This study is the first to explore—by using the goal gradient theoretical perspective—how relationship length, depth, and breadth are related to online gamer loyalty.

Key Words and Phrases: Gamer loyalty, goal gradient theory, online gaming, online loyalty.