Huang, Y., Neidhardt, J., & Contractor, N. (2014). Why Players Leave: Exploring Major Factors of Quitting EverQuest II. 2014-Sunbelt XXXIV, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, Non-EU. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12708/86040
In online games as well as many online social sites, the success and attractiveness of a community is strongly determined by the active participation of its members. Analyzing why people leave and predicting churn behavior becomes a critical challenge, especially with the mutual influence among users. The purpose of this paper is to explore important factors that influence quitting decisions in games from three dimensions: achievement, commitment, and social network effects. In EverQuest II, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, we identify different player attributes such as their progress and rewards in game, time committed on different game activities, and team and organization relations and examine their impacts on the likelihood of unsubscribing the game. In particular, we focus on social influence in players' teaming network and characterize the contagious effect of quitting behavior. We use a generalization of Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGM/p*) to study the social influence among users who played together. Our results show that players with higher achievement, such as higher levels, more award items, and more kills, are less likely to quit the game. The commitment on game activities has a mixed effect: players spend more time on building items are more likely to quit but players spend more time on trading items are less likely to quit. For social effects, we find that players who have more teammates and join a guild are less likely to quit. However, the likelihood of quitting increases significantly with the number of quitting teammates.