Title: What can influence the consumers' online word-of-mouth? An online gaming perspective

Authors: Shu-Hsien Liao; Yu-Chun Chung; Wen-Jung Chang

Addresses: Department of Management Sciences, Tamkang University, Danshuei Dist, New Taipei City 25137, Taiwan ' 151 Ying-chuan Road, Tamsui District, New Taipei City 25137, Tamkang University, Taiwan ' Department of Leisure Business Management, De Lin Institute of Technology, New Taipei City 23654, Taiwan

Abstract: With the increasing popularity of broadband networks, the online game market is becoming more mature. One of the most popular online games, World of WarCraft, has more than ten million global members, making it the largest massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). Thus, this study collects 317 players of the online game 'World of Warcraft' to empirically investigate this issue. By manipulating structural equation modelling (SEM), we investigate the relationships among brand image (BI), brand trust (BT), and online word-of-mouth (WOM) to examine the moderating effect of game experiences. This research indicates that BT serves as a partial mediator between brand image and online WOM and specifies the substantial moderating effect of game experiences in BI, BT, and online WOM. Meanwhile, if online game companies can develop a good BI, players will be willing to recommend and share their experiences with others on the internet.

Keywords: online games; brand image; brand trust; online word-of-mouth; WOM; structural equation modelling; SEM; mediating effect; moderating effect; brands; consumer behaviour; marketing; MMORPG; World of Warcraft; gaming; computer games; internet.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2013.055624

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2013 Vol.19 No.4/5/6, pp.278 - 293

Available online: 30 Jul 2013 *

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