Fear of Missing Out

If you stop playing you'll miss out on something or be left behind and unable to catch up.

Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is an anxiety that occurs when you worry about missing something exciting or important. In games, this can happen when there are timed events. If the event gives a special participation reward, then this anxiety can be heightened. If the player misses the event, not only will they miss the excitement of the new experience, but they will also miss the special reward. If the reward provides a benefit to the game, then the player will be behind everyone else and it will be difficult to catch up.

This anxiety can drive people to play the game at times when they wouldn't otherwise. It may even keep them playing a game long past when they derive enjoyment out of it. For example, a player who has lost interest in a game may see the announcement for the next event and think to themselves that maybe this new event will make the game interesting again.

Many online games are under continual development with new content and updates being added all the time, so there is a constant trickle of new things that players are at risk of missing if they take a break from the game. This is a strong motivator to keep playing. Often these types of timed events provide an incentive to spend money on the game in order to fully take advantage of the event. This enriches the game developers at the expense of the players who may be playing for reasons other than enjoyment.


Examples

WWE Champions 2019 WWE Champions 2019
"At least 6 new characters a month, if you don't play an event you miss out on economy needed to complete"

The Walking Dead: Survivors The Walking Dead: Survivors
"Constant timed event, unsafe PvP setting, daily rewards that you can't collect all at once"

Life Makeover Life Makeover
"The events are short and only give limited special rewards in this timeframe."

Last Fortress Last Fortress
"Fear of falling behind"

Slay the Spire Slay the Spire
"there is a daily challenge that resets at midnight. if you don't do the challenge on the day - it's gone forever."

The Secret Society: Find objects and solve puzzles The Secret Society: Find objects and solve puzzles
"Fifteen day events with exclusive rewards that require a lot of time to get."

Coin Master Coin Master
"You will miss out on rewards, your village will be attacked, and you won't be helping your team i fyou take a break"

War and Order War and Order
"Breaks lead to loss of development and troops"

Fishdom Fishdom
"you miss out on the time limited games they have"

The Simpsons™: Tapped Out The Simpsons™: Tapped Out
"events with exclusive rewards happen every month with a tight window to fully complete them, and require checking back in several times a day to efficiently complete."