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

Wuthering Waves Wuthering Waves
"Limited-time events are missable without any way to replay them"

Minecraft Minecraft
"Promoted multiplayer servers have limited time offers. In-game store has limited items."

Blue Archive Blue Archive
"In some cases you can lack resource, like artifacts, gears, blue-rays and tech notes, and there's ways to get them through events or purchasing. There are also some exclusive times that can be get by purchasing, but these aren't usually game-changing"

Airlines Manager : Tycoon 2019 Airlines Manager : Tycoon 2019
"There are special edition liveries for some events like christmas, new year, or chinese new year"

Smurfs' Village Smurfs' Village
"There are some offers about buying a limited edition decoration a"

CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars
"The game always has offers based around events that provide huge benefits for paying players, along with timers placed all around them so you're never capable of forgetting when they expire."

Drilla: Idle Gold Miner Game Drilla: Idle Gold Miner Game
"I got bombarded with a "Starter Pack", that skips until your drill is Tier 10."

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
"Some cosmetic are limited time offers (and end up as permanent offers later) + Selection packs are also limited time offers (and end up as permanent offers later)"

TheoTown TheoTown
"Yes, limited discounts are all the time"

Dragon Raja Dragon Raja
"events usually run for around a week"