Investigating deception and the impacts on online game players’ choice in China

Mujie Zhao, Dimple R. Thadani

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


This article aims to present and analyse the relationship between online game companies and players under four types of deceptions in Chinese game market: mechanism imitation, direct rip off, top-up enticement and negative marketing. The main purpose of this article was to understand how deception affects players’ decision and which type of player is ‘sensitive’ when deception happened. There are 356 valid survey results about attitude to deception collected from players on social network. MGPM* model is used as the data analysis method. Analysis revealed that top-up enticement reduces players’ motivation at highest extent. Players motivated by ‘derivative motivation’ are sensitive and more tend to quit game than those motivated by ‘general motivation’. This research indicates if game company figured out player group structure, when facing survival problem, it can adjust operation strategy by adding deceptions with innocuous effect to players’ motivation to cut operational cost. Meanwhile, the research supplied supporting evidence saying leading companies in game industry should adjust its strategy, changing cognition to growth, reducing deception separation among players and operating from the industrial health perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-442
Number of pages27
JournalGlobal Media and China
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • China
  • Internet
  • consumer behaviour
  • deception
  • management
  • online game

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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