The Origin of Guild Leaders

[I'd like to thank James Scarborough who offered his assistance in coding the open-ended responses for this data set.]

As I was thinking about guild leadership, I became interested to learn more about how guild leaders become guild leaders. For example, are they more likely to be guilds they created themselves, or did they inherit or get the position later on. At the same time, I didn't want to assume that those were the only two options. So I asked players who were guild leaders to describe how they became a guild leader in an open-ended format.

I received 231 responses altogether. For this data set, I'd like to thank James Scarborough who offered his assistance in coding the open-ended responses. Of the 231 responses, 173 could be coded as either "created myself" or "became guild leader after guild was created". The remaining 58 cases consisted of responses where: 1) the response didn't make it clear how guild was created, 2) the player helped create a guild that he/she later became a leader to, 3) the guild was created by two or more people, or 4) a missing or unrelated response.

Among the 173 coded responses, the majority of guild leaders (68%) consisted of players who became guild leaders of guilds they did not create. The remaining (32%) created their own guilds. There were no gender differences, but there were significant age differences. Older guild leaders were much more likely to have assumed leadership of a guild they did not create, whereas younger guild leaders tend to have created their own guilds.

This suggests, to a certain degree, a life-cycle of guilds. While guilds tend to be created by younger players, it is older players who tend to assume the leadership role some point down the line.