Forced to watch ads or given rewards for watching ads.

Many games, especially free-to-play games, contain advertising. Instead of paying for the game with money, you pay for it with your attention. People are more willing to part with their attention than with their money, and often aren't aware of how much time they are giving to these in-game advertisements.

Advertisements by themselves are not necessarily a Dark Pattern, but they can become one if they are made too intrusive and interrupt normal gameplay too frequently. For example:

1) Ads that cannot be skipped.
2) Giving rewards for watching ads.
3) Tricking you into clicking on an ad by placing it in a place where you might accidentally click on it.
3) Disguising an ad to make it look like part of the game.

Games can sometimes treat watching an ad as a form of in-app currency to enable other dark patterns. For example, some games allow you to replenish your energy by watching an ad. This is a form of Pay to Skip where you are paying with your attention instead of money.
Citations and SourcesUXP2 Dark Patterns
Disguised Ads


Merge Witches - Discover Magic Merge Witches - Discover Magic
"Advertisements are optional for rewards/restoring energy"

Drifto Drifto
"Advertisements only exist once the player crashes and are completely optional. Watching an ad will reward the player with double the coins they've earned. The player typically earns 5% of their score in coins once they crash - for example, scoring 700 points will only give the player 35 coins. This tempts the player into watching an advertisement since coins are given conservatively."

Get It Right! Get It Right!
"Getting rid of intrusive ads is a one-time purchase of $2.99. You can choose to watch more ads for more in-game currency for aesthetics."

Stick War: Legacy Stick War: Legacy
"There are occasional video ads after levels."

Star Stable Online Star Stable Online
"not intrusive, but they have had 3rd party advertisements like jojo siwa, spirit the stallion, h&m etc"

Cookie Run: Kingdom Cookie Run: Kingdom
"not often but they do exist."

Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus
"daily energy refresh, additional tournament attacks, multiple shops have ads to refresh them"

BitLife - Life Simulator BitLife - Life Simulator
"Even offline, the game still has in-game advertisements."

Everlife Everlife
"For free users, an intrusive ad will appear once a life has been completed."

4 Pics 1 Word 4 Pics 1 Word
"The free version has ads every few levels. The paid version (one-time payment, reasonable amount) does not contain any outside ads."