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

GraalOnline Era+ GraalOnline Era+
"Because of the never ending limited pay to win items, the normal guns you pay for aren’t good anymore."

GraalOnline Zone+ GraalOnline Zone+
"Because of the never ending limited pay to win items, the normal guns you pay for aren’t good anymore."

Honkai: Star Rail Honkai: Star Rail
"Earlier DPSes like Seele and Jing Yuan barely see use compared to modern DPSes like Firefly"

Flutter: Starlight Flutter: Starlight
"Some premium currency items that give you things can run out, normal currency becomes almost useless once all items that are purchased with them are claimed. This encourages buying more premium currency since the things it purchases does not run out."

AFK Journey AFK Journey
"You can't have the minimum number of heroes to play all the contents. This game forces you to invest in as many heroes as possible."

Covet Fashion Covet Fashion
"Clothes from different fashion seasons lower your score in challenges by lowering a boost."

Idle Angels Idle Angels
"They are constantly working to integrate new progression systems."

Wuthering Waves Wuthering Waves
"Even in the earlygame, 5-star characters don't even compare to free ones"

Drilla: Idle Gold Miner Game Drilla: Idle Gold Miner Game
"There are "permanent upgrades" that eventually lose its value, and you feel you want to buy another one. They are bought with... Crystals of course."

Invasion: Modern Empire Invasion: Modern Empire
"game is constantly increasing in power levels, 9 years ago the maximum was 4 star troops and HQ21, now it is 6 star troops and glory 6 HQ (HQ 25 + 6, so 31)"