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

Dice Dreams - Roll the Dice, Become the Dice King Dice Dreams - Roll the Dice, Become the Dice King
"Pretty much everything you purchase is a token of some kind, so you use them up. Sometimes these tokens are for limited time events and the tokens expire when the event ends."

My Singing Monsters My Singing Monsters
"As you progress and level monsters, the amount of food required to get to the next level increases sharply, making it very expensive to continue."

Bingo! Absolute Bingo Games Bingo! Absolute Bingo Games
"As you level up, the costs of playing the higher levels are higher, with no discernible increase in winnings."

War and Order War and Order
"Purchased items can be obtained for free over time"

Star Stable Online Star Stable Online
"horses from previous generations will eventually be removed from the game and are significantly worse than newer horse models."

Cookie Run: Kingdom Cookie Run: Kingdom
"meta changes a lot in the arena, and some cookies just... become less useful as you progress."

Cursed Treasure 2 Cursed Treasure 2
"Things purchased with the in-game currency (which can be bought via microtransactions) only last until the end of the level. The amount of in-game currency remains between levels."

SUITSME: Dress Up Fashion Game SUITSME: Dress Up Fashion Game
"Clothes get worn after the first time they are used, so you'll need to either buy new stuff or repay to renew the item."

IdleOn - Idle MMO IdleOn - Idle MMO
"New updates will nerf older items"

Figure Fantasy Figure Fantasy
"Yes,things you buy to spend on current figures will be usless as time goes on as most of thise figures themselves will become unusable when new figures gets introduced, also the game is shortening the time between new characters release, recently they removed the concept of one week brakes between new figures banners shortening the time for multiple types of preparations and causing resource,growth,loss while also hastening previously released figures exploration."