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I am looking for a new game and finding searching hard.

The problem is that most games have in app purchases these days. So I eliminate a lot of quality games by trying to filter those out.

But at the same time, some games are abusive with it. Frequently requiring an in app purchase every few levels or to replace hours and hours of pointless grinding.

I want to filter out the second kind, but not all of them. I have found that “pay to win” comes close, but it is not the same. I have played many great games that allow paying to win, but did not require it.

Is there a common term (that I can use for searching) that means games with in app purchases where you HAVE to pay or you CAN’T win?

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    So let me get this straight, you want pay to win games? – Ismail Hafeez Jul 20 at 7:07
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    I’m voting to close this question because (per the tag wiki) questions looking for a term on how to define something is off-topic – Wondercricket Jul 20 at 16:52
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    @Wondercricket - do tag wikis get to define what is off topic for the whole site? – Vaccano Jul 20 at 17:13
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    I’m voting to close this question because (per the tag wiki) questions looking for a term on how to define something is off-topic. – pppery 2 days ago
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Games with abusive in-app purchases are known as games with "predatory business models". However, it's worth noting that 'abusive' is subjective in most cases.

There isn't really a 'genre' or category of these types of games since almost any game can fit (and if not, easily tweaked) into this. It is less of what the game's content is, but more of the business model and monetization scheme of the game. Their other predatory business practices other than abusive in-app purchases, may include: pay-to-win, Gacha; loot boxes; "surprise mechanics" and randomized rewards behind pay walls or excessive DLCs.

There is also predatory design, but that's another topic, and more of the act of designing a game around monetization.


Also App Stores won't sort by this as this is a non-standard tag.

The best you can do is do research into each title you are thinking of playing.


On the Google Play Store, there is Premium Games, a collection which contains games that are not of the free-to-play variety, but I'm not sure about the Apple iTunes App Store.

However, these lists are curated and not exhaustive as "not having a predatory business model" is subjective and can also be incorrectly categorized or not considered by those curating those lists (there's just too many games).

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    There isn't a "genre or category" because no publisher would ever publicly admit their game belongs to that category and since publishers tend to have a leverage on official gaming press, any attempts to create such categorizations are suppressed. – SF. Jul 20 at 14:31
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    @SF I could hardly see a publisher being happy being filed under 'This game is shit if you don't put at least 200$ in it' So yeah pretty sure its not gonna be a possible tag. – Fredy31 2 days ago

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