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

ISEKAI:Demon Waifu ISEKAI:Demon Waifu
"Gold expenditures grow exponentially"

Genshin Impact Genshin Impact
"often better units and/or weapons get released on patches."

Old School RuneScape Old School RuneScape
"This is very well controlled by the developers but new content inevitably starts creeping the power up over time"

Need for Speed No Limits Need for Speed No Limits
"New and bettwr cars come out."

Delicious World - Cooking Game Delicious World - Cooking Game
"you can spend coins, diamonds and boosters once, the value of the item you upgrade cannot be used to the next chapter, so you will have to keep on spending if you'd like to finish a chapter as upgrades of Kitchen, decorations and boosters is necessary to pass the impassable levels"

LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed
"Many of the characters, sets and pieces of gear acquired early in the game are largely inferior to ones acquires later in the game."

GrandChase GrandChase
"New gears with higher ranks make the old gears less valuable, and it also costs additional real money to promote a piece of gear to a higher rank while keeping all its current sub-stats."

Lords Mobile: War Kingdom Lords Mobile: War Kingdom
"definitely"

Stickman Legends: Shadow War Offline Fighting Game Stickman Legends: Shadow War Offline Fighting Game
"New characters and equipment are released"

Epic Seven Epic Seven
"Hello reforging"