Social network games : factors influencing players’ engagement

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Colnaghi, Valeria
Issue Date
MBA in Business Management
Dublin Business School
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The business of social network games increase incredibly in the last number of years. With a forecast growth rate of 32% in the next 12 months, it not possible to classify the social gaming sector as a niche. The industry needs to know who gamers are and it is crucial for game developers to find how to engage them with the product. This study focuses on three factors they may influence users’ engagement. The first factor is the availability of the devices own by a player. The second is the player’s inclination of purchasing virtual goods within the game. Third, the feeling a player experience when enjoying a game. The study has targeted players who use social network games that run on the Facebook platform. Those players were considered the most suitable for this study since the network experienced a high network effect, which increases the users’ probability of interacting with each other’s. Social network games are, as there are named, social by nature, therefore the interaction between players is essential when considering the engagement. For this research, data has been gathered from 100 social network players in Facebook, and numerous quantitative analyses were performed. Results display that players who purchase in-game virtual good (the spenders) are more engage than those who play for free. There is, however, no correlation between the devices and the engagement. In addition, players seems not feeling part on an online community when playing, indeed they are attracted by the act of playing since they perceive it as an easy activity. The study aims to contribute to the existing literature pertaining social network games and to emphasis factors that contribute to the increase of the social network players’ engagement.