What is Diminishing Returns?

The Law of Diminishing Returns in economics says that increasing one factor in production will eventually, at some point, yield lower per-unit returns. To put this simply: the benefits of adding ‘more’ of something decline over time.

In the world of video games, designers often encourage continued play by making the player character exponentially more powerful as they progress, until they eventually reach Diminishing Returns and their power increases taper off.

The more I play these games, the more I find this to be a metaphor for the industry as whole – our enjoyment of these games also has a Diminishing Returns curve, in each game and across the genre. In time, we grow tired of the old and long for something different.

In the Diminishing Returns blog, my intention is to explore recent video game titles in light of where we have come from, whilst analysing the changing behaviours of the people that play them.




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