Anchoring Tricks

Placing a cheap item next to an expensive item to make it look more affordable.

Anchoring is a very common tactic that retailers use to sway people towards making more expensive purchases.

1) Anchoring - By placing a cheap item next to an expensive item, the cheap items looks more affordable. For example, if you can get a bronze item for $1 and a silver item for $5, many people may purchase the cheapest item. However, if you add a gold item for $50, the middle option (silver) now looks like a good deal and more people may purchase it.

2) False Hierarchy - A game may use layout, size or color to give a more expensive item preference over a cheaper item when in fact the items should be compared side by side.

3) Decoy Effect - Using a decoy item, that is usually more expensive or inferior, to push people towards a specific option. For example, items A and B are available for $1 and $2, but a decoy item C is $3. Item C is inferior to B. This makes B look like a really good deal since you are getting something worth $3 for only $2. Item A becomes less desirable.

4) Discounts for buying bundles or bigger packages of items incentivize people to spend more to get a better deal.

5) Social Proof is when a store promotes an item in way to suggest that more people favor it. This could be as simple as having a "Most Popular" badge on top of the item, or it could say something to the effect of "15 people have purchased this in the last hour". If the game integrates with social media, it could also use your friends to push you towards a more expensive purchase. For example, "John purchased a Gold upgrade today". This normalize spending on the game and makes it feel more acceptable.


Coin Master Coin Master
"Game offers a lot of bundles and deals"

War and Order War and Order
"Laddered packages"

Fishdom Fishdom
"the gem and coin bundles are offered with several options - often they make one really expensive which makes they others appear more reasonable"

Stick War: Legacy Stick War: Legacy
"The infinity fan pack comes with a bunch of one-time items and gems, plus infinite access to tournament plays and past weekly missions."

"The game offers player bundle, but the bundles are in their own section, but the bundles are still there, and seemingly overpriced."

Cookie Run: Kingdom Cookie Run: Kingdom
"yyyuup :("

My Singing Monsters My Singing Monsters
"aaaalll the time :/"

Dragon City Mobile Dragon City Mobile
"Many of the offer pop-ups the player sees when they open the game feature several expensive items marked as being "on sale" to try and convince them to spend gems or real currency."

Tetris® Tetris®
"The loyalty points system is done in this way. It will have an offer for 1,000 of them next to an offer for 140,000 of them."

Figure Fantasy Figure Fantasy
"Yez also you better do your math if you aren't planning to buy everything blindly, some lower costing purchases yields more in term of quantity if you buy them multiple times."