Fear of Missing Out

If you stop playing you'll miss out on something or be left behind and unable to catch up.

Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is an anxiety that occurs when you worry about missing something exciting or important. In games, this can happen when there are timed events. If the event gives a special participation reward, then this anxiety can be heightened. If the player misses the event, not only will they miss the excitement of the new experience, but they will also miss the special reward. If the reward provides a benefit to the game, then the player will be behind everyone else and it will be difficult to catch up.

This anxiety can drive people to play the game at times when they wouldn't otherwise. It may even keep them playing a game long past when they derive enjoyment out of it. For example, a player who has lost interest in a game may see the announcement for the next event and think to themselves that maybe this new event will make the game interesting again.

Many online games are under continual development with new content and updates being added all the time, so there is a constant trickle of new things that players are at risk of missing if they take a break from the game. This is a strong motivator to keep playing. Often these types of timed events provide an incentive to spend money on the game in order to fully take advantage of the event. This enriches the game developers at the expense of the players who may be playing for reasons other than enjoyment.


Examples

RuneScape Mobile RuneScape Mobile
"Yes, there are seasonal events and stuff"

SongPop 2 - Guess The Song SongPop 2 - Guess The Song
"Limited time badges."

Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game
"My life"

Pikmin Bloom Pikmin Bloom
"Artificial Scarcity; can feel like you missed out on decor pikmin you couldn't get in time but others could."

Baseball Superstars 2020 Baseball Superstars 2020
"some events make it easier to get trainers."

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
"They have seasonal rewards for players who play rank during the season. Also limited timed skins if connected."

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY OPERA OMNIA DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY OPERA OMNIA
"Limited time events every week"

The Walking Dead: Road to Survival The Walking Dead: Road to Survival
"Battle passes, free gifts/pulls, etc."

SMASH LEGENDS SMASH LEGENDS
"Season Passes. Enough said."

Ulala: Idle Adventure Ulala: Idle Adventure
"New events happen constantly in Ulala. Every week, something new is in store, sometimes for even a day."