‘Loss aversion’ describes the human  experience of not wanting to lose. Specifically the theory – developed in the realms of psychology and behavioural economics – states that avoiding loss takes priority in an individual’s mind over pursuing an equivalent gain. That is as true in games as elsewhere in life. In games the presence of loss aversion in a player’s experience of a given title means they will be motivated to avoid a loss over securing gains such as consumable items.

As such, loss aversion mechanics offer the player a means to address, reverse or gain from a loss. Commonly, these loss aversion mechanics monetise directly at the point of losing; perhaps offering the chance to buy additional turns in a traditional match-3 game. Interestingly, battle passes harness the instinct for loss aversion by offering players a means to purchase assurance that they will avoid losing rewards that have previously been gained.

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