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

Princess Connect! Re: Dive Princess Connect! Re: Dive
"New characters are usually better than older ones."

Game of Dice Game of Dice
"Worst part of the game. Brand new characters and dive are boosted and powerful, but it only lasts a month. So next month you could spend hundreds of dollars on the next boosted character/dice combo to stay on top."

BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!
"New cards have better skills and slightly better stats than old cards of the same rarity."

Honkai Impact 3rd Honkai Impact 3rd
"Newer valkyries are considerably stronger than older ones of the same rank, so much that the older ones are later given out for free."

ANOTHER EDEN ANOTHER EDEN
"As new characters are released, they are generally more powerful than older characters. However, older characters are often upgraded with special weapons called manifest weapons, to keep them in line with the power creep."

Mythic Heroes: Idle RPG Mythic Heroes: Idle RPG
"Need exponential purple stuff and exp"

Pokémon UNITE Pokémon UNITE
"Newly introduced characters in the roster are generally overpowered and only tuned down in a later update. This encourages players to spend their currency unlocking new characters."

Mech Arena: Robot Showdown Mech Arena: Robot Showdown
"Newer mechs and equipment surpasses old ones"

Make More! Make More!
"Game gets slower and harder, even premium tools lose their value"

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
"Some items get reissued"