PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (7): 1145-1155.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.07.001

• Articles •     Next Articles

Characteristics and multi-dimensional proximity mechanism of the online game industry cooperative network in China

ZHAN Yarong1,2(), GU Renxu1,2,*()   

  1. 1. The Institute of Urban Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2021-12-10 Revised:2022-02-10 Online:2022-07-28 Published:2022-09-28
  • Contact: GU Renxu;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971160)


In the era of digital economy, digital technology has brought profound changes to the production system of creative industries. The influence of virtual space built on Internet platforms on physical geographical space is increasing, which destroys the old spatiotemporal relationship, new socioeconomic organization geospatial pattern is created, and the changing importance of geographical proximity and its role in the decentralization of cultural production remain to be explored. In order to examine the impacts of new digital technologies on the geographies of cultural production and to provide a reference for exploring the high-quality development model of cultural industry in the new era, this study applied social network analysis and negative binomial gravity model to examine the urban cooperative network structure and multi-dimensional proximity mechanism of the online game industry, based on the data of Chinese online game projects from 2016 to 2020. The conclusions are as follows: First, the new digital technology has strengthened the decentralization and agglomeration trend of the online game industry. The findings demonstrate the dominant role that external networks play in the operation of online game projects. Small and medium-sized cities rely more on cross-regional cooperation networks in particular, because they lack strong and influential local companies. Second, the connections between cities based on the division of value chain of the online game industry are relatively sparse, the cooperative network presents an uneven diamond-shaped connection pattern, the spatial pattern of the network is highly imbalanced, and the industry is mainly concentrated in the economically developed eastern coastal region. There is a mismatch between the influence of cities in the network and the scale of local clusters. The network hierarchy basically follows that of China's existing urban system, and the core nodes are highly concentrated in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Local administrative centers also play an important role in the cooperation network. Social proximity, cognitive proximity, urban industrial scale, external connectivity, and human capital have positive effects on the establishment of cooperative network in the online game industry, while the wide application of digital technology makes the effects of geographical proximity and institutional proximity insignificant. At present, the main channel for enterprises in remote areas to obtain resources is still the dominant cultural production centers, which is related to the complex and diverse urban structure system in China.

Key words: online game industry, digital technology, cooperative network, multi-dimensional proximity