Artificial Scarcity

Limited time offers with unnecessary urgency.

One psychological trick that pushy salesmen use all around the world is artificial scarcity, and they often combine this with an unnecessary demand of urgency on the buyer. This is why you often see items listed for sale saying something like "Only 4 left in stock. Order now!"

Game developers use this technique to trick you into spending more time and money on their games. This often takes the form of limited time offers. The only reason for the short time limit is to make you rush into making an uninformed decision and prevent you from comparing the value of different items.

Games may also advertise items by saying that there are only a certain number available, "Hurry, only 47 magic daggers left in our inventory!" In a game where all the items are digital, there is no reason to artificially limit the supply of an item. In fact, often these numbers aren't even real and they may sell far more than the stated limit. The only reason for emphasizing the scarcity of the item is to make you hurry up and make a purchase before you think better.


Examples

Gossip Harbor: Merge Game Gossip Harbor: Merge Game
"Seasonal decorations in exchange for points you gain for completing orders - they sell discounted bundles for energy and diamonds so you can keep playing and collect these decorations"

Seaside Escape Seaside Escape
"The game might offer energy bundles at a discount for 10-15 minutes after you've run out."

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
"Most card packs are only unlocked for 24 hours."

MARVEL Puzzle Quest MARVEL Puzzle Quest
"Has daily sales"

Merge Mansion - Mystery Game Merge Mansion - Mystery Game
"There are many seasonal events that you have to play constantly to finish."

PAC-MAN PAC-MAN
"the game is always running special events that add cosmetics and new levels to the game. the cosmetics can only be purchased while the event is active and the levels cannot be purchased, only playable while the event is active. sometimes they offer brief limited time offers on their valuable boosts"

Mochicats Collection Mochicats Collection
"spinning wheel prizes that change"

The Arcana: A Mystic Romance The Arcana: A Mystic Romance
"New player limited offer"

Rise of Cultures Rise of Cultures
"There are daily offers and bundles. There are also events, but these are seasonal and come back every year."

Among Us Among Us
"Certain "Cosmicubes" (Bundled packs of cosmetic items) can only be bought for a limited time."