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Inferior Good

A good/item which people buy less of as their income increases. They do so because more enticing alternatives become more affordable.

Good Types and Elasticity

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In economics, an inferior good is something which a consumer demands less of as their income increases.

In video games, low-level items are a form of inferior good. As the player accrues more wealth and can afford better items, they will begin investing in more powerful items, and stop investing in lower-level items. In other words, the demand for low-level items decreases.

Note that if these higher-level items are subsequently replaced by even higher-level items, the former can still be considered an inferior good.

By understanding what is and isn't an inferior good, and under what conditions, designers can better anticipate how player behaviours will change as they progress.

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