Power Creep

A permanently purchased item in the game becomes less valuable over time.

Power creep is a term used to describe a situation where an item in a game depreciates in value over time. The main way this happens is via new content being added to the game that make the old content less valuable.

The idea is that you may have earned or paid for a powerful item or upgrade in the game. It may have been great for awhile, but new better items are available or the power level of the opponents has increased to the point where that original item is no longer useful. The money and time that you previously spent to earn that item is now worthless and you must spend more money and time on the new more powerful item to have the same benefit that you had before.

If games do this often, it encourages players to keep spending money to stay competitive. If done incorrectly by the game developer, it also has the effect of making the game boring for new players who start with the new powerful items which are overpowered against the opponents found in the beginning of the game. The original game can become unbalanced if too many updates are made that keep adding more and more powerful items.


Examples

Romance Club - Stories I Play Romance Club - Stories I Play
"Somewhat - newer stories being released require higher costs for their diamond choices than older stories."

Game of Thrones: Conquest™ Game of Thrones: Conquest™
"Newer items tend to be stronger than the previously released ones. Likely that the oldest items released will be useless."

Growtopia Growtopia
"Inflation and economy is one of the infamous mechanics of the game"

Hungry Shark Evolution Hungry Shark Evolution
"Purchased sharks, especially lower-level ones, become essentially worthless by the time you progress there manually."

Shadow Fight Arena Shadow Fight Arena
"Every previous fighter is unable to defeat a max level new fighters, as they have too many mechanics."

X2 Blocks - Merge Puzzle 2048 X2 Blocks - Merge Puzzle 2048
"the cost of power ups increases as you get a higher score"

Pure Sniper: City Gun Shooting Pure Sniper: City Gun Shooting
"A fully upgraded weapon for a previous zone will be near useless in any future zones, despite its stats."

Lotsa Slots - Vegas Casino SLOTS Free with bonus Lotsa Slots - Vegas Casino SLOTS Free with bonus
"I spent over $6,3000 in 2 years addicted playing this game and my Google pay card account was hacked so I canceled the card. Couldn't make in store purchases anymore my account was reset and customer service did NOTHING to restore my player ID account status as I was no longer a cash cow for them I was no longer a valued customer."

HATSUNE MIKU: COLORFUL STAGE! HATSUNE MIKU: COLORFUL STAGE!
"Sort of. Diamonds themselves are pretty constant in value, but rewards earned through use of diamonds or the subscription become less useful over time, as you need more and more of those rewards and resources to do just about anything."

Pocket Frogs Pocket Frogs
"Higher level frogs require more potions, and higher level items or frogs require more stamps to speed up mailing times."