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.


Examples

Cat Game - The Cats Collector! Cat Game - The Cats Collector!
"They do this in the store."

Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS Zombie Frontier 3: Sniper FPS
"The game does put cheap items next to expensive items, there is also first-time-purchase bonuses, there is a bundle"

Kingdom Maker Kingdom Maker
"Offers bundles that are less cost effective as others and tries to make them seem more ideal"

DragonVale DragonVale
"The game uses their gem currency to make things seem a lot less expensive than they are. For example: most dragons cost about 1500 gems, and they never put the cost of gems next to the dragon’s cost. So people end up spending 50.00 US dollars, because of the difference between gems and US dollars. 1500 gems = 50.00 US dollars"

Disney Emoji Blitz Disney Emoji Blitz
"The cheapest box is 15K coins which requires a lot of game time. It makes the only twice as much 30K gold box or 300gem bigger boxes seem reasonable."

Just Dance Now Just Dance Now
"The more scarcely billed VIP passes seem cheaper than the more frequently billed ones."

Baseball Superstars 2020 Baseball Superstars 2020
"a lot of packages that have "great value""

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
"bundles for emotes or heroes + skins"

OneBit Adventure OneBit Adventure
"Usually at least two purchase options are presented, one of which costs more but is advertised as being a better deal."

The Walking Dead: Road to Survival The Walking Dead: Road to Survival
"There's a lot of differently priced offers."