The dynamics of player engagement in online games

Prof. Yifan JIAO
Assistant Professor in
Business Intelligence and Analytics

Date: 26 March (Tuesday)
Time: 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Venue: FBA Lobby


We aim to understand the engagement state of users in online games and to examine how different key factors affect its dynamics. Specifically, we focus on two types of factors: players’ in-game performance and promotional activities. To do so, we build a hidden Markov model and estimate it with individual-level in-game activity data collected from a popular multiplayer online game. We find that having extreme in-game performance, either very good or poor, adversely affects long-term player engagement. Additionally, selling virtual items through loot boxes can not only temporarily increase play duration and spending, but also enhance long-term engagement. However, the impact of promotional activities that encourage playing with friends varies among users in different engagement states. Our findings are crucial for enhancing the gaming experience to boost player satisfaction and retention.


Prof. JIAO obtained PhD degree in Innovation and Information Management from the University of Hong Kong in 2023. She is currently an assistant professor in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics in the University of Macau. Prof. JIAO’s research interest includes digital economy, online games, and service operations management.

All are welcome!