The FOMO strategy in videogames: Have you been affected by FOMO?

Have you been affected in any way by FOMO strategies in videogames? (Read OP before answeing)

  • Yes I've been affected and I'm still being affected in some way

  • Yes I've been affected but now I don't care anymore

  • I've not been affected at all by it

Results are only viewable after voting.


Gold Member
There's thing thing that marketing studies discovered to make people buy and get attached to things, and it's called the FOMO strategy. FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out, and it's believed to be some kind of social anxiety:

Fear of missing out (abbreviated as FOMO) is a social anxiety[2] stemmed from the belief that others might be having fun while the person experiencing the anxiety is not present. It's characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.[3] FOMO is also defined as a fear of regret,[4] which may lead to concerns that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, a profitable investment, or other satisfying events.[5] Thus, it maintains a fear of making a bad decision about how to spend one's time.

Now we're not here to talk about social anxiety. But we're here to talk about how the videogame industry uses this FOMO effect to keep people buying things through microtransactions, keep you playing their games, and even gamble without noticing it.

Maybe you think you haven't been deceived into this method, but in today's standard for the gaming industry, it's quite hard to find anyone who hasn't been affected by it in some way or another. (Let me just tell you that if sometime you completed a "daily" or "weekly" quest, or you played any game because they gave double XP at the time, then you got FOME'd)

Let's see some examples of how the FOMO effect is used in videogames:

  • Timed content: If you've played some in-game event, say Summer, Winter, Christmas, Halloween, etc. event, then you've been part of the FOMO effect.
  • Limited content: We know that digital goods can be infinite. But we also know that what's inifinite doesn't cost as much as what is scarce. So that's why companies make digital goodies artificially limited.
  • Limited availability: The first X amount of people to do Y gets Z ! Go before it's gone!
  • Showing numbers: "Fluff Night has 100 billion people playing weekly!" Yes, when you see companies flexing their playerbase, you're actually seeing the FOMO strategy in action. And if you asked yourself what's with this game that all this people is playing after seeing those numbers, if you even searched for the game, you've been tricked by this method.

The list can go on and on.

The prime example of FOMO used in videogames is the so called Battle Pass. This thing is often used in GAAS' videogames, and they use ALL the weapons this strategy has: limited content, timed content, exclusivity content, lootboxes (gamble), timed XP rewards, etc.

Even a game took this effect and was made entirely around it: Destiny 2.

So when Destiny 2 went free, a lot of people felt totally lost when they started the game, They didn't know what was going on, what was the plot, what were they supposed to do and why. Most people wouldn't even speak with the right NPC to start the first quest. Why? Because the game was designed so that the world(s) are permanently evolving with the story, with or without the player. The developers wanted to create a sense of you've had to be there, and if you didn't, then you lost your chance, so you either play this game regularly or you'll miss out.

So, have you been affected by the FOMO effect?
I've seen it mentioned predominantly in games like Fortnite, which I don't play regularly.

I guess Overwatch qualifies as well, with seasonal cosmetics and whatnot?

Double XP events, in games I play, definitely get me playing more.
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Gold Member
I've fallen for Nintendo FOMO way too many times.

It's now part of their official marketing strategy.

It's part of most companies nowdays.

I've seen it mentioned predominantly in games like Fortnite, which I don't play regularly.

I guess Overwatch qualifies as well, with seasonal cosmetics and whatnot?

Double XP events, in games I play, definitely get me playing.
Yep, you've been FOME'd! :D


Gold Member
Interesting topic.

Based on your explanation and examples, I guess not. In fact, I find a lot of that shit a repellant.
I do too. But I'd be lying if I told you I've never fired up a game just to get some daily, XP boost, or participated in a Battle Pass.


Yep. Since I like battle passes from Apex (paid and time limited) and seasonal events from Monster Hunter (in this case are free, but time limited).

Another thing that is not necessary a FOMO, but falls as the same thing for me, are the Souls games. I have to be there on day one, because things are fresh and I can explore places and create builds without having to worry about being spoiled over the internet or friends.

Other things I don't care.

Also, this world evolving shit killed Destiny to me.


I do too. But I'd be lying if I told you I've never fired up a game just to get some daily, XP boost, or participated in a Battle Pass.
I really do mean that I find it a repellant.

I rarely if ever play a game that has that kind of shit, and if I ever did I've never looked at it.


Gold Member
Nah, I mostly play single player games and the whole limited event stuff is thankfully not a thing in the type of games I like.

The one thing that comes to mind I guess is buying games at launch. Now that games are often on sale a month or two after launch, maybe even with an update to fix or improve things, one of the main reasons to still pay $60 is simply to get the whole launch experience and be a part of the conversation when interest in the game is at its peak.
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Yes. Having played a lot of destiny 1, overwatch and apex.

Destiny 1 killed that shit for me. I was playing that game like it was a job. Then one day I just said fuck it. I dropped the game cold. I remember there was a site where you entered your user name and it returned a graph of how many hours you played every day. I played destiny I 4-8 hours every day for almost 6 months.

Overwatch also had me with the events, but that burned me quicker than destiny. It's like I learned my lesson. Now I play overwatch just for fun... Which means I don't play it much at all. Fuck that games balance is a mess right now.

Apex, with the new daily treasures, has me hooked, but since we are in a pandemic, there is not much else to do really. I try to play 1 hour apex every day, I love that game.
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Nah. I rarely play online games, I don't pre-order, I don't touch microtransactions and rarely buy day one. I don't care about timed/limited content or having to wait for something if it sells out.

I don't care about gaming trends and often play games way after everyone else has played them.


In the past, definitely as I was too sucked into forums and playing the latest greatest games so I could discuss them when threads were active, to play most GOTY contenders so I could have a more informed vote/list etc. Also experienced some of the FOMO with service games like others did with feeling pressure to do the daily/weekly stuff in games like Destiny.

I've gotten over that now. I still like playing games I'm super excited for at launch as it's fun discussing them when threads are active, avoiding spoilers for story-driven games and so on. But I don't pressure myself to get through things to be ready. I'm just mindful of release dates of the games I want to play day one and plan accordingly (i.e. don't start a game I won't be able to finish easily before release as I always have pick up and play stuff I can go back to).

Service games I've largely stopped playing other than Borderlands and in that series I'm not a big farmer/loot chaser and just play with friends to have fun and mostly jump back in when new story DLCs come out.
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I have a couple of friends whose balls are totally clasped by Destiny 2 FOMO. They can't finish other games because they ALWAYS go back to spending their time on D2.

For me, my FOMO for Final Fantasy XIV drove me back to renewing my sub after 7 months because of the Moogle Treasure Trove event where I can get mounts I normally wouldn't acquire. I intended to renew this summer anyway, but the event had me do it earlier than expected.

Yep I've been afraid of people fainting.



No. I prefer single player experiences. I've been gaming for about two and a half decades now. Those titles arent going anywhere. I play at my own pace.


Nah. I have no problem waiting 1-2 years for a game to hit 20$ to buy it.
There are several advantages, but mainly because I don't really care for MP games:
-bugs fixed
-improved performance
-(sometimes) more content was added since the release
-no great feeling of loss if I don't like the game because I didn't pay much

-in the case of a game with MP, reduced player base because of the game age, but buying at a sale always means a temporary increase of the player base, since many other people buy the game because of the lower price.
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I'd say I'm currently experiencing it... I kinda wanna buy Animal Crossing New Horizons.
I'm not a fan of the art style. I'm not keen on how I'll probably need to keep opening a wiki every 30 minutes. I don't like how things are seasonal. It looks like it suffers from the same old flaws that Nintendo Online games always suffer from.
The list goes on....

But I still want to buy it. The fact that I've restrained myself this long is nothing short of incredible.


In-game nah, but if we extended FOMO to sales (ie. time-specific deals) then it would crank up the Yes's a lot.
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Good thread!

Personally I feel like sometimes I get the itch to get that collector's edition or some limited skins. And I get that part of it is FOMO. However I do not feel like it's an addiction or in some ways it stopped bothering me over time afte. I have enough STUFF and thankfully enough disposable income to indulge from time to time into things that I consider cool fluff (I did preorder that Lilith statue from D4) but I don't think it's the exclusivity of FOMO that drives anymore but just picking and knowing what I like.


Patient MembeR
Yes, in past years I tried to play as many of the year's best games, but this is impossible to maintain when I'm also trying to play (and replay) old games. So in a sense there was a fear of missing out.


No, I don't give a shit about any of that nonsense. But then again I barely play contemporary video games nowadays anyway but when I do play it's mostly 20+ years old games.
Never, if there's a DLC i'm interested in and i'm still playing the game when it's released I'll buy it (I.e AC Origins/Odyssey) , if I finished the game and moved on and there was a sale for for a good price I'll pick it up so i can play it down the line (I.e Spider-Man the city that never sleeps dlc).


Gold Member
Path of Exile sales. Get me wayyy too often but I'm happy to support the better Diablo. I think I have like 25 tabs...and too many effects for different skills.

Fight me.
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Yep, had this happen with Samurai Shodown on the Switch, there was pre-order bonus of Samurai Shodown on the Neo Geo Pocket Color game, which has not been released outside of the pre-orders.


i had to let go of fomo like 7 years ago, it was eating up extra time

i miss out on stuff now, nothing 15 minutes of google and wiki cannot fix
No, I don’t feel FOMO when it comes to paid stuff—at least for now.

However I feel a strong FOMO when it comes to choosing which Confidants to spend time with in Persona 5 :messenger_grinning_smiling:

Goro Majima

Kitty Genovese Member
I collect games so there’s always a little element of FOMO. A lot of niche Japanese games tend to disappear entirely so I sometimes feel like I’m in a position where I’m buying them even if I’m only kinda interested.

Most recently I missed out on Atelier Ryza for the Switch. Absolutely crazy how much copies of that are going for right now.
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As a completionist type of gamer it has lead me to stop playing the game altogether.

Overwatch, stopped.
Gravity Rush 2, stopped.
Gears of War 4, stopped.
Diablo 3, with seasons stopped.
the many store exclusive preorder bonuses that never become available in the store, stopped playing.

It fucking pisses me off how developers push me away from their franchise because of shitty design decisions.
Will I ever buy Overwatch 2, absolutely not. I can't get that favourite skin, well, fuck you Blizzard.

Imagine if all the game unlocks were locked behind connecting to the internet for a certain period of time for a small window, and if you miss that, you miss it forever, and its a really good looking skin.

I don't need FOMO in games. I want the peace of mind that I can open my wallet anytime and purchase it, if I cannot unlock it regularly.
Nothing pisses me off more than having a timed event skin that I cannot purchase. They make me miss it forever and I say fuck you to your franchise, I'm done! Not supporting your shit even when I have you fucking money! Fuck you!!!

You know how many store exclusive preorder bonuses they never released in the digital store fronts, it pisses me off to no avail.


Smells like fresh rosebuds
It irritates me.

I MISS unlocking things.

Street Fighter V is so annoying and disappointing. I want to like it, I want the outfits and characters, I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars to do it.

Something like DOA4, I miss spending the time unlocking outfits and characters and everything. DOA 6 has thousands of dollars worth of DLC.

The fact I will NEVER have all o fthe content makes me lose a lot of interest and never invest in it.


All these years later I still chuckle at what a fucking moron that guy is.
Nope. Timed content and any other kind of nickel and diming are things I don't take part in. The only games which I connect to the internet are games which require it, and I avoid buying those if I have any foreknowledge of internet-as-DRM. I don't put a credit card number into any game or gaming device. The other things you mentioned are things I ignore. I don't care about other players, I don't log in for daily anything. I play games when I want to, because I want to. Games are entertainment. They exist for me to have fun. Any game that makes its self a chore isn't fun, and I don't play it.


I don't care for multiplayer at all so it doesn't affect me.
As for single players, I always wait for the "Definitive/Game of the Year/[insert meaningless marketing term] Edition" so I can play all the content for a lot cheaper.
People that pre-order are weird and should feel bad for dropping money on a product they have no idea how is gonna turn out.
Almost like gambling but I digress.


Gold Member
Sometimes I have FOMO over my gaming backlog.

So I sometimes end up playing nothing in my indecisiveness and FOMO of playing the “wrong” game.

I appreciate this thread, people need to be educated to fight this bullshit.

YouTube hypemen are the worse, PROTIP: is the YouTuber lists a bunch of things up front that are great, but then lists HUGE GLARING FLAWS, then conclude that you NEED said product because it’s the BEST THING EVER, completely ignoring the flaws, then this person is fake, this is a new level of marketing to pretend to be impartial to appear human, but in reality they’re just paid shills.
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YouTube hypemen are the worse, PROTIP: is the YouTuber lists a bunch of things up front that are great, but then lists HUGE GLARING FLAWS, then conclude that you NEED said product because it’s the BEST THING EVER, completely ignoring the flaws, then this person is fake, this is a new level of marketing to pretend to be impartial to appear human, but in reality they’re just paid shills.

I found a solution to that years ago. Just don't watch YouTube. Also delete any social media accounts you may have. Your mental health will thank you.
RIP Destiny 2. I can't be bothered going back now, i've missed too much.

Any game that tries to command my time doesn't deserve it. If Devs let me engage with their content on my own terms, I'm happy to give them my time.


I think I’m not affected as I still in end of 2017 in terms of releases I will start 2018 when it’s games getting a little better on price.
And I have no desire AT ALL to live the hype and conversation for a recent released game


no, i only play single player and local co-op games so it doesn't bother me at all, if something is added to a game and then taken out i just shrug it off and forget about it.
it's always better to wait for a game to be complete, bug_free as it can be, at a decent price and experience it at your own pace and without any haste.
I don't overthink it. If I'm having fun I don't care what people label it. Once the game feels more like a chore than a joy I drop it. Feel free to use your tricks to keep me engaged, but make it fun and worth my time. If it's not fun I'm out.
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