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

WWE SuperCard – Multiplayer Card Battle Game WWE SuperCard – Multiplayer Card Battle Game
"'Last Chance' to buy packs that end up coming back later."

Dead by Daylight Mobile Dead by Daylight Mobile
"every weekend they run double experience events and experience can be difficult to get unless you play a lot."

Legend of the phoenix Legend of the phoenix
"Store only allows you to purchase, for instance, 1 guild token a day. Field only allows you to purchase, for instance, 1 potential fruit a day. Limited time events allow you to purchase, for instance, up to 200 potential fruits, leading many to spend ~$600 USD in order to take advantage of these 3-4 day events."

Trailer Park Boys Greasy Money Trailer Park Boys Greasy Money
"Lots of weekly competitions"

Girls' Frontline Girls' Frontline
"Sales and limited-time events are a regular occurrence."

ISEKAI:Demon Waifu ISEKAI:Demon Waifu
"There are weekly events with restricted items"

Genshin Impact Genshin Impact
"time-limited banners, characters on banners often do not reappear for months and/or ever."

Tap Tap Fish - AbyssRium Tap Tap Fish - AbyssRium
"Very frequent limited time offers."

Gardenscapes Gardenscapes
"Very regular limited time offers that are made to seem like an essential thing to complete"

Head Ball 2 Head Ball 2
"Lots of 2 day offers."