%% The examples are in the process of being alphabetized and cleaned up. Please make sure your example is put in the proper order in the appropriate folder.
[[quoteright:299:[[Webcomic/NerfNow http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reccet_391.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:299: [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 "It costs $400,000 to fire]] [[ICallItVera Sasha]] [[Memes/TeamFortress2 for twelve seconds?]] That's $200 per bullet! [[VideoGame/{{Recettear}} Where have you been buying your ammo?"]]]]

This is the simplest way of saying that the market in a game hates you, the player, beyond all measure.

During the course of a game, the price of a valued commodity will go up, usually several times, to the point where it's prohibitive to actually buy this commodity. Heaven help you if you can't find this commodity in the game normally.

Take, for example, inn prices. The farther out from the origin point one goes, the more expensive a night at the inn is. It does not matter if the inn is in a capital city, or whether it's in a podunk village in the middle of nowhere. To understand the significance of why this is wrong, consider the following: which is going to be more expensive, given properties of approximately the same size and number of stars: a hotel room in Manhattan near Times Square, or one in Poughkeepsie? (If you don't know where Poughkeepsie is, [[AppealToObscurity you've proven the point]].) The point is: One night's stay at an inn late in the game costs about as much as buying the entire metropolitan city you started out in.

In short, Adam Smith Hates Your Guts.

Named after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith Adam Smith himself]] (the one from the 18th Century, ''not'' George Goodman, the current-day writer on finance who uses this PenName), who is usually considered to be the father of modern economics. Common in games that manage to avert WithThisHerring, and justified from a design standpoint as a form of MoneySink to avert MoneyForNothing. See also CommandAndConquerEconomy. A hero with a HundredPercentHeroismRating might be able to get a discount, though.

Ironically often overlaps with KarlMarxHatesYourGuts, where the gaming economy is stacked against you so that all goods have a globally fixed price, but you can never sell things for that price, so becoming a successful businessperson is nigh impossible without serious abuse of the system. Going back to our example of the inn, the inn in Poughkeepsie and the inn in Times Square are both the same price (Karl Marx hates you), ''and'' that price keeps going up (Adam Smith hates you).

It's worth noting that, in RealLife, a person like the player character has what classical economics would call a ''perfectly inelastic'' demand for certain commodities. This means that, no matter what the price is, the player ''will'' manage to raise the funds ''and'' be willing to fork them over simply because they ''need'' to buy these items. Any merchants who are aware of this [[TruthInTelevision can and will charge absurd amounts of money]], because they know it will sell regardless, so long as there isn't someone selling it cheaper nearby. Of course, behavioral economics reminds us that human beings are not constructs in classical economic theory, and so are prone to making decisions about prices that take into account more than just supply and demand. The most audacious form of the trope, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_gouging Price Gouging]] is a two edged sword, however: In many places raising the price of gasoline and bottled water during a hurricane isn't just good way to be branded a {{Jerkass}} by the local community- it can be grounds for criminal charges and seizure of goods. [[note]][[UsefulNotes/CourtSystems Laws vary, obviously]] even within nations- some areas have specific laws against it, some categorize it as [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse extortion]], others consider it a form of public endangerment, and some just have officers point out to the owner the [[TorchesAndPitchforks large angry mob armed with tire irons]] forming outside and the inherent problems of OneRiotOneRanger. Surprisingly, some economists will defend price gouging. If your town is hit by a hurricane and the only guy selling batteries hasn't raised prices, you can bet he's been cleaned out and there's no batteries left in his store. Furthermore, there's no incentive to take risks to get those batteries. However, if the only guy selling batteries charges twenty-five USD for an AA four pack (a 6-8x spike in price), there's a good chance at least a few will be still on the shelves as people buy only what they absolutely need. Furthermore, batteries will flood into the area as sellers try to take advantage of the situation, renewing the supply of batteries and sending the price back down.[[/note]] Additionally, even strongly pro-capitalist governments tend to pass anti-monopoly laws forbidding this sort of thing in the large scale.

Not to be confused with NoHeroDiscount (which is where storekeepers charge full price even though you're saving their butts). Also not to be confused with Creator/AdamWest, though he may hate your guts too, if only because [[CloudCuckoolander they may contain microscopic bacteria that he saw in a dream once]]. TeaserEquipment looks similar, but is about equipment that's priced so you won't be able to afford it until much later in the game. May involve being ScoldedForNotBuying.

Compare BribingYourWayToVictory.

Also despite the name of this trope, it is not to be confused with CapitalismIsBad (though works using the latter can employ this trope as a demonstration of why they believe that).

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In episode 12 of the RPGMechanicsVerse series ''LightNovel/IsItWrongToTryToPickUpGirlsInADungeon'', both Welf and Lili are shocked at the outrageous prices being charged for substandard items in the item shop on the [[BreatherLevel 18th floor]], such as a really beaten bag being sold for 20k valis. Unfortunately they don't have a choice but to buy it, as Bell was forced to drop almost all of their items just to make it to the 18th floor safely. And they would need said items to make it back to town.
* In ''Manga/TheMageWillMasterMagicEfficientlyInHisSecondLife'', Zeff unintentionally did this, due to setting the prices of accessories he was trying to sell at the market price he knew from the future. Lydia has to point it out to him and he has to sell them at a loss just to get what they need.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''WebVideo/SwordArtOnlineAbridged'', as part of his AdaptationalVillainy, Agil (going by "Tiffany" in this retelling) gives up on trying to help the other players after realizing they're [[TooDumbToLive all a bunch of morons]], and spends his time in ''SAO'' selling them crappy weapons at inflated prices. It earns him enough of a reputation that [[MurderInc Laughing Coffin]] mentions him by name when they put together a video advertisement for their services.

* In-universe example in ''Literature/TheHungerGames''. The longer the Games run, the more expensive it is for sponsors to send support to remaining Tributes.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** In the earliest editions of ''D&D'' you had to spend money on training in order to gain levels. How much money? Gold equal to the ''number of experience points'' the level took. By the end of the game, you'd have to empty legendary treasure vaults and spend enough money to purchase a castle simply in order to be trained to the next level (although, to be fair, this would likely require an equally legendary trainer).
*** In the first computer adaptations, training cost 1,000 gold times the character's (current) level. This was actually an inversion, since you had few resources early on, but after completing a few quests could always afford to promote a 2nd or 3rd level character when the time came, and eventually got so incredibly loaded that ''no'' expense was beyond your means.
** Third edition with gold piece based magic and overhaul of existing prices toward [[CheapGoldCoins inflation]] and price gaps. E.g. base price of a CrystalBall raised from 5000 to 42000. And even built magic items expected in the specific style of campaign into challenge level system.
** Fourth edition, for ease of play everything has a fixed standard price (particularly visible in the way the cost of any magic item is purely a function of its level). Fair enough. However, player characters can never sell anything (''including'' magic items) not explicitly put into the game as a cash-substitute treasure by the scenario designer for more than 20% of it's notional 'market price'... (There's a reason for that, and it's that the game developers explicitly wanted to encourage players to take their characters ''adventuring'' rather than have them sit around using weeks and months of in-game downtime making stuff to generate more money. But it still fits the trope to a T.)
** In Fifth Edition, it's stated that magic items would hardly ever be available for sale, but a table is given stating their approximate values based on rarity. A potion you can drink once that lasts for ten minutes can cost you the same as a ring or cloak that has a permanent effect, because both are rare.
** A special case is also the component cost for the Raise Dead ritual. It starts at 500 gold pieces' worth of materials... until a character reaches 11th level, whereupon it suddenly increases by a factor of ''ten'' - and then the same thing happens once more upon hitting level 21 (of 30 possible). {{Handwave}}d by the game as 'death being less willing to return great heroes'.\\
This because death has to be significant enough that it is meaningful, but not significant enough that dying is a major disruption to the game. 500 gp is a pittance to a mid to high level character, so the cost needed to be increased in order to make it at least mean something. It is a constant struggle in such games for death to be meaningful, but not crippling. In previous editions, you lost levels for dying and being raised, so this is a significant step forward as far as pricing goes.
*** And honestly, 20% is not all that strange if you look at it from an economic perspective; sure, the merchant seems like they're ripping you off, but how often do high-level adventurers come by town? In the default assumption, the heroes are pretty much THE heroes, and there just aren't all that many other people who would be capable of buying that + 5 flaming bastard sword that you sold to Bob's Used Weapon Emporium.
** Lampshaded in [[http://ffn.nodwick.com/?p=306 this]] ''Webcomic/FullFrontalNerdity'' strip.
** A relatively recent addition to the 4th-edition rules is item rarity. Common items can be purchased, created by [=PCs=], and sell for the usual 20%. Rare items, however, cannot be crafted or bought -- they only turn up as loot if the DM specifically places them. The good news is that they sell for 50% (or even 100%) of their list price.
* ''{{TabletopGame/GURPS}}'' went to a ridiculous extreme in justifying and averting this trope. Magic items are balanced via a, relatively simple, economic system they built for the game (and explain to any GM who wants to change it).
* ''TabletopGame/{{Monopoly}}'' is based on this principle. As the game goes on, the players acquire more and more property, monopolize what they can, and charge higher and higher rents to other players who land on their property. Players whose income does not increase fast enough to pay off increasing rents will eventually be eliminated, until only one remains.
** In fact, Monopoly was originally created as a ''criticism'' of the effect of private rents, as a demonstration of how it leads to mass ownership of land by a single entity. In the very first version of Monopoly, you were then supposed to play a second round with slightly altered rules that limit the ability for one player to take over: but this was quickly dropped when it entered the mass market because it's a game and pretend-bankrupting your friends is fun.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Averted with the Markets of ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'', which shows supply and demand to the point of frustration: resources can be sold and bought at the market for gold, [[YouRequireMoreVespeneGas the fourth resource]]. This can eventually mean [[FirewoodResources Wood taken from those plentiful forests]] will be sold until the price is the minimum 14, while the much rarer Stone can still only be bought with a triple digit price, that increases with each purchase.
* Averted in the Sega Saturn RPG ''Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean'': the cost of staying at any inn in the game is based upon the number of party members, and nothing else. A single party member stays at a cost of 10 gold while a full party of five is charged 24 gold (note that the cost did not scale linearly), whether at the first reached town in the game or the last.
* ''VideoGame/AnarchyOnline'''s player driven market is inflated to such a degree due to the [[RandomlyDrops rarity of items]] that many players are often turned off by the market and its impressive prices. In a game where any given character can hold 1 billion credits, you will find single items running for up to 5 BILLION credits, certain sets of end-game armor in 10 BILLION plus range and player owned cities [[note]]which besides the benefits also give option to get their hands on some of those [[RandomlyDrops Random dropping loot]][[/note]] which were on sale for equally terrifying amounts of cred.
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' has a complex crafting system that lets you build useful items and sell them to merchants around the Colonies. However, the price of crafting items increases each time you make something in a given session, which can result in things like nails, barrels, and soap inexplicably costing hundreds of pounds to create. This is ostensibly to prevent farming infinite cash.
** Even worse, raw materials are never subject to any loss of value; if the first pelt is worth 200 pounds, the hundredth will be worth exactly the same. That means that other than for merchant requests, it's almost never worth the trouble to craft anything.
* ''VideoGame/BioShock1''
** This is done with a literal Creator/AynRand's Revenge with the underwater city of Rapture. It is justified, though: you are in a super-capitalist dystopia in the aftermath of a civil war, where the 1st act takes you through the medical pavilion and the fisherman's wharf, whilst the 3rd takes you through the uptown residential district, where demand for ammo would be higher.
** There is one area where this is PlayedForLaughs - at the Fleet Hall Theater, the lobby vending machine only sells snack items - at about a ''[[{{Snacksploitation}} 4,000 percent markup]]''.
* Ammunition in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' becomes exponentially more expensive the further into the game you go: Ammunition in early-game ammo kiosks will set you back a dozen credits, and by the end-game it's in the tens of thousands range. Of course, the game has an economy that can be best described as MoneyForNothing incarnate, so you've got practically nothing ''but'' ammo you can spend your ever-increasing cash reserve on. The same goes with the "death" regeneration cost of 7% of your total funds. Normally this isn't a problem but some of the areas, while having lower-level enemies, can be more tricky, and with rewards reduced, can quickly drain your cash reserves if you're too careless.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Cadash}}'' arcade game has a huge case of this. There are three ways to heal in the game. One is a magical herb that restores 10 hp when you would otherwise die (with a stock cap of 8). The second is an elixir, which has a stock limit of one, there are only two of in the entire game, and you can only use automatically after all your herbs are gone and you would otherwise die. Method 3 is to stay at an inn. The inn price more than doubles each time you stay at one. It is completely impossible to afford every inn if you stay at one after each section, so you must put off that first visit as long as possible.
** Time extensions are also subject to this.
** This is why the Priestess, despite having the slowest attack and no offensive spells, is BY FAR the easiest character get a one-credit clear with. The advantage of healing and (especially) protective magic in keeping inn expenses to a minimum is just that great.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', before you do Ozzie's sub-quest at the end of the game, the Medina market [[TeaserEquipment charges insane prices for his low-level gear]]. Once you complete the quest, though, his prices become more reasonable; because you killed Ozzie in the past, the Mystics, who live in the village, never held a grudge against humans. Interestingly, they also sell some high level gear there at even MORE exorbitant prices, thus keeping it out of your reach. By the time you lower the cost, this is pointless as you are a couple tiers of equipment above what is sold there. However, it is quite possible to have enough just enough money to purchase a weapon you aren't supposed to get for another 10 hours pretty early in the game, even with the massively inflated price. Oops.
* ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' has an odd variant of this trope. The 'prices' of buildings and units, in the form of hammers (required production to build it), stays constant, no matter which era you're in. Thus, erecting a building in a newly built town will take exactly the same number of turns in the stone age as it will in the modern era, after building cranes, construction equipment and unionised labour has been invented. At the same time, buildings and units you unlock with better technology that you research later are prohibitively more expensive in terms of hammer cost. This leads to odd situations where you have a new town in the modern era where building a TV station (which is unlocked in the modern era) takes over eight times longer than building a library (unlocked upon learning how to read) or a Colosseum (unlocked by construction), and training a unit of riflemen takes four times as long as training a unit of longbowmen (which would be the opposite of RealLife). That being said, in most forms of the game, it is much easier to ''get more hammers'' later in the game (i.e. have increased productivity) by building improvements.
* ''VideoGame/{{Colonization}}'':
** While you can sell whatever you produce in the game in Europe, the prices you get decrease over time. Also, the price you have to pay to buy products or military units from Europe increases. You can theoretically avoid this by trading with Native Americans or with other colonies, but it never seems to work in your favor.
** The trope is also literally inverted. You can recruit Adam Smith himself into your Continental Congress, in which case he loves you and wants you to succeed. Unless a rival colony snatches him away from you.
** The Firaxis remake makes the latter impossible, as once you get a Founding Father, he's yours. No other colony can get him. Whether or not this is good depends on whether or not you were able to get him first.
** [=FreeCol=] has the initial amount of goods on market explicitly established in the ruleset, which mostly affects price elasticity -- you could eventually buy all 10000 tons of food and sometimes it could even make sense to try, but since one caravel takes only 200, it will take forever even if you could churn out goods to sell back to Europe equally fast (which won't happen, since New World goods have only 1000 reserve and prices fall quickly). Natives simply shift goods from "very interested" to "also can be traded" category after one transaction, so you would get the best deal by cycling wares between visits accordingly, and packing holds full when they are ready to buy high -- until a village wants something you don't have.
* Most [[IdleGame Idle Games]] incorporate this in some way:
** In the browser game ''VideoGame/CookieClicker'', the costs for buildings start out reasonable, but increase by 15% with each successive building of the same type you purchase. Where the first clicker (the least-efficient building) costs 15 cookies to produce, the 150th will set you back over 19,000,000,000, and building more expensive buildings can cost in the trillions after you've built enough.
** By the ''middle'' of ''AdventureCapitalist'', a lemonade stand can cost ''nonillions of dollars'' just because you already have a large number of them. [[note]]One nonillion dollars is not just more than the value of everything ever produced in human history. It is more than the theoretical value of the planet. You cross that value at 1002 lemonade stands. [=McDonald=]'s, for reference, has over 35,000 restaurants, and opening a new franchise costs "substantially" less than a nonillion dollars.[[/note]]
** In ''Tapularity'', you can be earning upwards of 10 million dollars ''per second'' and still be unable to purchase, for example, a webcam.. because you can't buy things until you have a required number of "likes".
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/CrazyTaxi''; each customer pays you, the player hundreds of dollars and tips to drive them very short (usually less than a kilometer) distances. Possible RidiculousFutureInflation?
* ''VideoGame/DeadFrontier'': A green jacket costs more than an M1 Super 90 shotgun, and said green jacket does nothing for the player. No stat boosters, no extra protection, nothing. Justified in that it's a player-generated economy in a ScavengerWorld. Prices are easily linked to in-game supply and demand - while fresh vegetables shouldn't cost $50,000 apiece, supply and demand says otherwise. %%Page requires namespacing.
* ''VideoGame/DeadRising2'': The price for a box of Zombrex, to keep Chuck's poor daughter from turning into a zombie, starts off at $25,000, and goes up from there with each purchase, so it would be more financially prudent to find some on your own. Justified by how rare Zombrex is. Chuck buys one, that's one less the looters have and obviously anyone who wants Zombrex is willing to pay top-dollar. And the looters are [[JerkAss Jerkasses]], too.
* In ''VideoGame/DefendersQuest: Valley of the Forgotten'', ''every'' new hire costs more than the last new hire, regardless of the new hire's class or what town you hired them from (and it's not like you're buying pre-trained or pre-armed folks, either; they all start at level 1 with no equipment.) This is especially ridiculous when you consider that you're traveling around a land where most of the towns have been thoroughly devastated by the Revenants. The people you're hiring ought to be grateful just to have a job, especially one where the employer pays for all their equipment...
* The economy of ''VideoGame/DeusEx'':
** Hacking into ATM networks will usually give the player somewhere between 100 - 500 credits a pop. Credit Chits are rare and few between. Yet, everyone and anyone who sells you "second-hand goods" will charge you 700 credits for a clip of ammo (6 shots, which early enough in the game, could go quick), up to 2000 or more for a weapon add-on (accuracy mod, scope, etc.). On the other end of this problem, you can find this crap laying around ALL OVER the place.
** Not to mention that most of the people who take thousands of credits off your hands for relatively common items are somehow still homeless despite apparently sitting on money machines.
** However, you play an elite government agent and completing your assignments efficiently and following orders reaps commissions and performance bonuses, totaling thousands of dollars. ''Deus Ex'' encourages players to work hard, be curious, ''and'' loot for maximum survivability.
** This is even lampshaded at one point later in the game; if you pay someone's 5000 credit asking price for a suit of thermo-camouflage, which is a huge amount of cash for something that is neither that rare nor that amazingly useful, he'll be dumbfounded anyone was willing to go for his offer.
** The game actually does a good job at keeping your resources just ahead of demand, which with the multiple solutions to any given puzzle means that you could be drowning in lockpicks while carrying around seven different guns in the false hope that one of them might have enough ammo to get you through the next firefight. On an economic basis, part of the plot is that the economy is screwed on a massive scale.
* In ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'', every time one buys a Vital Star, the price goes up, sometimes several-fold.
* If one tries to buy controlling stock of another railroad in ''VideoGame/RailroadTycoon'', an AI company will immediately also start buying the stock, which results in driving the price up; because TheComputerIsACheatingBastard, the competitor can always prevent your taking over. As you buy stock, the price increases, and as you sell stock, the price goes down. Because the player the only ''real'' buyer, the price is inflated as one buys and deflates as one sells.
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' series:
** In ''VideoGame/DiabloII'', a market developed in trading items between players: but the game's "official" currency, gold, quickly became worthless due to inflation as most items were valued at more gold than a character could ever carry or transfer. Instances of a particular rare magic item, the Stone of Jordan, became the unofficial currency, then later high level runes became the standard.
** In ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'', the position was effectively reversed by the Auction House massively simplifying player trading: at any difficulty level but Inferno (the highest), most item treasure that drops can be ignored as players on higher levels will be getting much better items as "junk" and selling them off for tiny amounts of gold. This wiped out the value of several in-game crafting mechanisms.
*** ... at which point Blizzard effectively said '''"Screw this!"''', killed both the gold and real money auction house, made most things untradeable and increased loot drop rates and quality dramatically. The fans were initially [[BrokenBase rather divided about it]].
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series:
** The cost of inns generally increases throughout the game in standard EasternRPG fashion (to add insult to injury, the base rate is also multiplied by the number of people alive in your party). The cost to revive a character at a church sharply increases depending on the level of the character to be revived, but this becomes irrelevant once you have a character with a revivification spell.
** Subverted, in some cases, in the newer games. Every once in a while, when you come to a new town or village, the inn rate will be mercifully cheap. Whether or no this concurs with a sharp upgrade in available weapons depends.
*** The ninth game as each town has a fixed price for its inn, multiplied by how many people you have in your party. Once you have access to the "zoom" spell you can just fly back to Stornway every time you need to heal and then zoom back to the place you need to be. This saves you at most about 20 coins each time you rest your whole party so really there isn't much point...
* In ''VideoGame/DungeonSiege'' all mules are equal, but they are sold in almost every city. You can buy a mule in the first city for 1,500 gold. In the final city, the NPC complains that he is having to practically give away his mules because he had no food to keep them alive. The price? 370,000!
* ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'' seems to avert this trope for most of the game, as you ''start'' in an insignificant little village, and the price of lodging naturally increases as you approach the big city of Fourside (which also happens to be dominated by a CorruptCorporateExecutive) and the resort towns of Summers and Scaraba. Additionally, shop prices never seem to change; the cup of coffee that costs $6 in Onett will be valued the same wherever you go. But then, near the end, you reach the Tenda Village and Adam Smith slaps you in the face: items of all sorts are hideously expensive (costing not money but a certain high-valued item that must be bought elsewhere), and the "ATM" people you find charge 100% handling fees.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** The series in general has featured dungeon crawling to collect items to sell in shops or exchange with other characters. Occasionally, the prices are reasonable, but you are usually being fleeced by buying that sword for more than what you sold one just like it for. You tend to get the best deals in your higher-ranking guilds and with people who like you (in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'', by selling items to stores of "rustic" quality).
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', which runs on a bottle economy, offers an aversion: alchemy. That potion you made and can sell is more expensive than the cost of its ingredients most of the time. The system can become broken the moment the player realizes that they can make potions that boost Intelligence, which can be used to brew better potions, which sell for more money...
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' at least, one can also very easily get access to spells that make vendors like you so much that it breaks the haggling mechanic and they'll always give you the best possible buy/sell prices.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'':
*** It's actually possible to invert this and still have the market hate you; Dragon Bone drops will become so frequent alongside enchanted daedric artifacts that simply selling ''one piece'' will bankrupt the store owner if you don't have any merchant perks or accept the "loss". On top of that several merchants only buys one type of loot (food, armor, weapons, or potions) with only a handful in each town that would buy any loot, so careful management is also needed so that you don't sell to the easiest merchants first and end up unable to sell the rest.
*** Getting full price for an item in ''Skyrim'' is difficult but not impossible. It requires (deep breath) 100 in speech (one of the slowest increasing skills), many perks to increase profits + seller available gold and a magical boost to barter. The [[http://www.awkwardzombie.com/index.php?comic=081213 merchant perk]] is also required to sell any item to any vendor.
* In ''VideoGame/ElseHeartBreak'' it's very easy to hack into the bank and give yourself unlimited money, but doing so is meaningless, since the only items you can buy are snacks and drinks. Even having millions of dollars never allows you to exert any extra influence over the town.
* {{Averted|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Nova'', where as you progress through any one of the game's story lines, purchasing outfits and new ships becomes less expensive on planets belonging to the government you are currently serving, as well as granting you access to ships and outfits that wouldn't be available if you weren't working for that government. The only exception to this is the Vell-os, who are slaves in their storyline.
* In ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey'' on DS, the price to spend a night at the inn goes up with every level that your party increases, as does the price to revive a fallen member at the hospital. Items and equipment are also rather pricey -- in the first two games, a single Nectar costs a whopping 500en. In ''The Drowned City'', healing items get a much needed price drop, such as Nectars now only costing a mere 50en. Ironically, the shopkeeper here is a major {{Money Fetish}}ist; probably best if she doesn't find out she's selling this stuff at such a staggering discount...
* ''VideoGame/EveOnline''
** "Basic" modules are less powerful versions of Tech I (normal) modules. They were in between Tech I and Civilian (cheap and nearly useless) modules. CCP decided that they weren't needed, and removed the blueprints for Basic modules. Now they fetch massive prices on the market; it's mostly item collectors who buy them.
** Civilian items also suffer from this; since they're basically useless, there's far less Civilian items than anything else. It's common to see a normal frigate-grade Afterburner selling for 15,000 ISK, and a Civilian Afterburner selling for ''300,000''. Somebody actually made a Brutix (Gallente Battlecruiser) that was fitted with nothing but Civilian modules. It was named [[CrowningMomentofFunny "Civil Minded".]]
** Faction issue modules can cost over a hundred times more than there tech II variants and give marginally improved stats, which is certainly worth it for some ships. Where this trope really comes into play is that certain faction modules are much rarer than others because it is not popular to work for those factions, however many faction modules share identical stats. So an Ammatar issue module might be a federation navy issue module in all but name but it still costs twice as much.
%%** Though CCP advertises that it doesn't manipulate the game's economy that much, it still does. The most notable instance of this a code designed to fight inflation that determines the amount of ISK for all NPC payouts. Whenever the game thinks there is too much money in the economy, it will reduce its payout rates (for PVE and ship insurance compensation) and increase its rates (ship repair, insurance fees, brokerage fees). This can often cause things like insurance to only pay out two or three times what the contract was bought for and be hideously low for the ship it was issued for. On the plus side, the opposite can sometimes happen, where the game decides that there isn't enough money going around, and thus hands out more and charges less. Both of these responses are the exact opposite of how real economies normally react to their respective situations.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}'' series:
** In the [[VideoGame/FableI first]] game in the series, the economy was driven by supply and demand and one could earn discounts and get better prices for your sold goods by having a higher guile level. [[labelnote:explanation]]More specifically, a shopkeeper will sell items they have a lot of for cheaper than items they only have a few of. Similarly, they will spend more to buy items they don't have than they will for items they have a surplus of. This opened the door to a cheat where you could essentially sell him 99 of an item time they didn't have (which he would pay handsomely for), then buy all 99 of those items back (which he will sell to you very cheaply), and turn a profit. Doing this repeatedly with high-price items (like engagement rings or precious gems) effectively becomes an infinite gold supply.[[/labelnote]]
** ''VideoGame/FableII''
*** One can buy any offending store and lower the prices accordingly. Added bonus: Lowering prices counts as a pure and wholesome act, adding to your karmic stats.
*** Compounded, as the more "loved" you are, the more discount you get.
*** However, any discounts you get also affect the price you get for selling. So yes, that shopkeeper who loves you will give you cheaper stuff but also pays you less for your VendorTrash.
*** If you ''raise'' prices in stores you own, you take a corruption penalty but demand stays constant so you make more money in direct proportion to how high you raised them.
* In ''VideoGame/FairyFencerF'', Lola's prices for fury information go up with each new one, even if it isn't particularly better than the last. And, notably, she continues to charge you [[spoiler:even after she joins your party.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', one can invert this by putting points into Bargaining/Barter until you can buy items from [=NPC=]s, sell them back, and make a profit! It's not too hard to get to that point either.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', however, plays this painfully straight as the markups for items sold and markdowns for items bought has been increased to 150-1122%, forcing the player to rely on the new crafting system in order to get anything for themselves even with perks that reduce prices and salespeople who offer discounts! Even then you can't produce your own ammo without downloadable content (be it a ''Workshop'' DLC or by mods) and fining junk requires putting a settler to a scavenging station (and thereby putting them to a job that literally everyone else does in automatically).
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutShelter'' has this trope is played straight as well- the price of building a particular kind of room goes up each time you build one of the said room.
* In ''VideoGame/FantasyZone'', excluding the engine upgrades, everything you can buy from the shops gets more expensive each time you buy them. The UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 remake included in ''SEGA Classics Collection'' lets you unlock an setting that turns off price inflation.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series:
** Played with in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII''. Every inn charges the exact same price, but the cost of inns are based on how much HP and MP your party members are down by. Recovering 10 HP is no more expensive anywhere else, but eventually you'll be needing to restore thousands of HP per visit. Using Cure spells beforehand can cut down significantly on the price.
** Inverted by ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2''. One quest consists on helping O'aka the wandering merchant pay off his debt, by buying objects from him. He sells them at the normal prize, but when you get him clear... he drops his prices so much [[GameBreaker that you can easily get rich]] by buying 99 of everything from him and then selling it all to the Hypello in the nearby bar.
** Inverted by ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI''. Although the auction house is a player-run economy, NPC store prices drop according to how much fame[[note]]a hidden stat that goes up whenever you do quests[[/note]] you have in the town they are located in.
*** On rare occasion, due to rampant undercutting on the part of players, you may find items on the auction house being listed at below the NPC resale price.
* ''VideoGame/{{Freelancer}}'':
** The most central, highly populated systems in the universe have the cheapest/lowest-quality goods. Outside the universe, it's a good idea, because you start the game in the dead center of the universe, with no money and no ship. As the difficulty rises and you get more money, you go farther from the center, and have the opportunity to spend more money on better equipment. But in-universe, it does not entirely make sense.
** However, their equipment isn't that great (ranking second or third), and it sells that low, too. It's a sort of Hero Discount so you can iron out the really weak points of your gear before the final battle.
** Once you [[spoiler:join up with the Order]], you can buy all the best equipment and the best ship at ridiculously low prices. Even if you don't have much money, trading in your previous ship will let you buy everything [[spoiler:the Order]] has and have an entire fortune left over. Won't do you much good [[spoiler:after the end of the main storyline]], though.
* A mild example in ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' and its sequel; Inn prices go up because they charge per person - party size increases as new characters join.
* In ''VideoGame/GuardiansCrusade'', Inns vary in price; the more populous the city is the more expensive sleeping there is. Furthermore, after you save the cities from a Gargoyle invasion, the Inns usually let you stay for free.
* The Time Goddess in ''VideoGame/HalfMinuteHero'' will gladly reverse time for you (a necessity when you only have 30 seconds to save the world) but each use increases in cost (first 100 gold, then 200, then 300, etc.). She shamelessly doesn't deny her love of money.
* In ''VideoGame/HollowKnight'', the most expensive item that can be bought in a shop is an ordinary lantern, which fetches a price worth several magical items and weapon upgrades. The reason the price is so high is that the lantern is mandatory for exploration of several [[BlackoutBasement dark areas]].
* ''VideoGame/JimmyAndThePulsatingMass'': The further along in the plot you go, the more things will cost, even if it used to cost less in the same location.
* Merchants in ''VideoGame/KidIcarus'' charge exorbitant prices for their wares. You can haggle with them to get a lower price, but if your strength is lower than the level number, he'll raise the price.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'''s Suspicious-Looking Guy is the sole source of Goofballs. The first bottle costs nothing, but every one after that costs ''an additional'' 1,000 meat; so if you want 101 bottles, the 101st one will cost 100,000 Meat and you'll be out over 5 million meat in total (weeks worth of farming). Still, you can work around this by [[NewGamePlus ascending]] (which resets the price to 0), and [[DrugsAreBad you shouldn't really be using Goofballs anyway because they have nasty aftereffects]].
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' where you at one point could ''reprogram'' a droid shopkeeper to give you better prices.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series:
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', Young Link needs to buy some beans, which you can plant in various places to create levitating plants in the future. When you buy the first one, the seller tells you that he's not moving any stock, so he sells it to you for 10 rupees. When you buy the tenth and final one, he tells you that his beans are selling like mad, and he'll let you have it for 100 rupees, yet Link is his only customer.
** Specifically, you can only buy one bean at a time, and each sequential purchase sends the price up by 10 Rupees, starting at 10 for the first purchase. You end up paying, in total, 550 Rupees, so even with the biggest wallet in the game full of cash, you still won't have enough to buy them all in one visit. Each purchase results in a new comment from him about how they're more popular than the previous purchase.
** Interestingly, this is actually averted in ''Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'', as different stores have different prices on items you might want (the Magic Shield, for example, can cost between 90 and 160 Rupees depending of the store), so you need to keep track of which merchant has the best deals. Also, the most expensive item in the game, the Blue Ring, its sold in a single, ''hidden'' store in all of Hyrule, so you have no option but to pay the full price for it (a whooping 250 Rupees, five less than your maximum wallet limit).
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' has it in the opposite direction. When freeing the town and thus getting access to its stores, one store is very obviously meant for the wealthy (it doesn't even let you in without cleaning your shoes first). The few things it sells are so ridiculously overpriced that it is impossible to buy them with even the biggest rupee bag. It is an option though to kick that shop out and replace it by the discounter that a child from your hometown founded, leading to ''much'' lower prices.
** Beedle returns in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' recurring at stables, bazaars, and other rest stops Link passes through. He always stocks arrows and a selection of critters just right for combating the area's natural hazards. He also overcharges for the arrows compared to any other merchant and the critters can be gotten for free in the right places, but that's the price of convenience. Also, activating the Great Fairies requires increasingly larger donations the longer you go in the game, with the final Fairy charging a whopping 10,000 rupees to talk to you.
* Inn prices go up as you progress in ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns'', but some later inns give you the option of entering through the back door, which typically causes the innkeeper to let your party stay for free for some odd reason. One innkeeper even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] how the practice of letting a bunch of adventurers who come in the wrong way stay for free isn't good for business.
* ''VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'' has Jaffrey, the twin brother of Jaffy, who can be encountered inside of the Ancient Cave. As most items cannot be brought into or out of the Ancient Cave, he is the sole source of items and low-mid-tier gear excluding [[RandomlyDrops random chests]] as well as the only way to combine Mystic Stones within the Ancient Cave. The catch? Jaffrey charges ''exorbitant'' prices for everything. Combining Mystic Stones costs ten times as much as Jaffy charges, while recovery items cost '''forty times''' more than they cost everywhere else. (And no, sell prices are not adjusted.) Since you lose collected gold as well when you leave, it's worth paying his prices anyway.
* ''VideoGame/LuxarenAllure'': The further away from the starting town of Erdengard you go, the more the inns cost. The Naga Castle has free resting, the combination inn and store on a side path off the Pehl Mountain Path has the inn cost 30 Vei, and the Parvian Inn costs 50 Vei.
* ''VideoGame/MagicalChase'': As you progress through the game and buy more items from Halloween Jack, the price of them will steadily increase.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'', every successive HP Memory upgrade is usually at least twice the price of the one you just bought from the same vendor. [=PowerUP=]s likewise in the first two games. ''[[VideoGame/MegaManStarForce Star Force]]'' does this too.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Metro 2033}}'', the only money is bartering with 5.45mm ammo left over from before the apocalypse. The ammo is in perfect condition, and packs more punch than the homemade crap you usually find. Therefore, you must choose between supporting the economy and saving your ass in a firefight. There's even an Achievement (Scrooge) for hoarding 500 Bullets.
* In general, {{MMORPG}} developers are aware of this trope and will often build {{money sink}}s into their games to remove excess cash from players' wallets, with varying levels of success. Do you twink your alt or drop 20K on a giant mammoth or a [[SchizoTech motorcycle]]? The most reliable money sink is armor repairs. If you play end-game content, this can drain you of several hundred gold a night on progression days.
* Like most other "freemium" mobile games, Gameloft's ''[[VideoGame/MyLittlePony My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic]]'' allows you to play completely for free, earning an unlimited supply of coins within the game that can be used to buy new characters. But the game (as released) also utilizes additional currency systems, including "gems" that can only be earned at a rate of one a day and sometimes as quest rewards, and "hearts" which mostly require friends to visit your town and leave a gift (again at a rate of one heart per friend per day). Alternatively, the player can spend real money to buy gems and hearts. Players have worked out that to complete the game's main storyline requires the player to buy ponies and other objects that can only be bought by gems or hearts; as originally released, it would take 3 to 5 consecutive years of playing the game once a day to earn enough of these to buy all the required ponies. Alternatively, these could be bought through around $80 worth of gems. And then there's all the optional characters... Made worse when you consider this game, while having the brony audience from the TV show, is meant for kids.
* The WebGame ''VideoGame/NewStarSoccer'' has 'NRG' Drinks. Every time you sign a new contract, the prices increase. Near the end of the game, an energy drink can cost more than your '''HOUSE''' .
* Subverted in a locally-written game called ''No'' (to hide it from the system managers) which ran on the mainframe computer at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California back around the late 1980s. You got to travel around the galaxy buying and selling things, or alternatively, looting other ships and stealing their supplies. Planets had different technology levels, from 1 to 9. Goods became cheaper the higher the technology level, so that photon torpedoes at a #4 technology planet were less expensive than the ones at the #1 planet (which is how you made money, buying from H.T. planets and transporting goods to lower technology ones). Higher technology planets also did better things with ship's equipment, e.g. a #2 shield could provide more energy against other ships trying to fire on you to loot your ship than did a #1 shield, a #3 did better than a #2, and so on. If you bought a #3 shield at a #3 or higher technology planet, the price was in line with it being what it was worth, say, twice that of a #2. But buy a #3 at a #1 planet, however, and while the planet ''would'' sell it to you, the price might be 100 or 500 times as much, which is in line with demanding high technology in a place not equipped for it, it's much more expensive where they don't know how. Each planet's level was announced when you arrive, and prices were clearly marked on the price chart, but the program wouldn't prevent you from being stupid and not checking the price. Planetary technology levels were based on a formula as if to say some planets developed faster than others.
* ''VideoGame/NoMansSky'' plays this straight, especially where [[CasualInterstellarTravel Hyperdrive]] fuel is concerned. The stuff is necessary for your ship to be able to use FasterThanLightTravel, and can easily gouge you of your hard-earned [[GlobalCurrency Units.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheOregonTrail Oregon Trail II]]'', supplies get more expensive the farther out on the trail you go. This is {{justified|trope}}, since the prices would include the additional costs involved in transporting them to a remote outpost. In an equally justified inversion, horses get significantly cheaper.
* Similarly, in ''VideoGame/OrganTrail: Director's Cut'', supplies get both more expensive and rarer the farther west you go. Initial stops have plenty of everything, but later stops may not have any supplies at all that you can buy, and what few supplies they have are fantastically expensive. In addition, repairing your car gets more expensive as well. (This is averted in the original Flash game, where supplies cost the same no matter where you are.)
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor''
** Averted with the varying inn prices - they accurately reflect the wealth of the local area. The inn that charges the most coins, at 30 coins, is in Poshley Heights, which is essentially where all the rich people live high lifestyles; compare to criminal cesspool Rogueport, where the inn charges only 5 coins.
** It's also averted with some items which, depending on your location, will be cheaper or more expensive depending on how rare said item is in that area. One character even advises you in-game that a good way to make money is to buy fire flowers in Petalburg and sell them in Rogueport for a 2 coin profit.
** Played straight in the Pit of 100 Trials. There is a sleazy merchant who occasionally shows up in certain rooms to sell you various items at inflated prices. The lower you go, the more dangerous it gets, and the more likely it is you'll be running out of healing items. ''He knows this''. By the time you get near the bottom, he'll be selling items for ''twenty times'' what they'd be worth in a normal shop. Since you're likely to be maxed out in coins yet an inch near death at this point, ''these items might actually be worthwhile''
** Using a heart block almost invariably costs more in the dungeon for a respective region than in the open field.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/{{Pathologic}}'': A plague has befallen the town, and the prices rise accordingly.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'', the jackass fairy Trish, exiled from her happy fairy realm for her utter greed, opens up a healing service, which charges an obscene price the first time, her prices rising for the same amount each time her services are used. When healing services are readily available in the overworld at much lower prices, Trish puts her stall ''right in front of the level boss' door'' - you can leave the level to get healed cheaply, or fall into her trap, unless you were smart enough to stock on items. She can also offer ice creams that increase various stats, a service also available in various Sumaru restaurants, and at a point she's left at the single source of trade. To absolutely no one's surprise, she starts selling stuff at five times its street value. There ''is'' an option to scatter a rumor to give her a HeelRealization to lower her prices... which she promptly ignores, putting all prices back as they were.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''
** The items get exponentially more expensive, which is made even more bizarre when you consider that your protagonists are Japanese school children, and that the person selling you the gear is a police officer who was fully aware of the situation.
** By the time things get ''really'' costly, you're getting so many Yen out of Tartarus that you could buy out ''his entire inventory''. Apparently, he's also aware of this. Why the ''swimsuits'' are so expensive is a question for another day...
* The Nurse's Office in ''VideoGame/PersonaQShadowOfTheLabyrinth'', similar to the ''VideoGame/{{Etrian Odyssey}}'' example above, will charge you based on the level of the main character.
* ''VideoGame/PixelDungeon'' features four shops in the dungeon, on levels 6, 11, 16 and 21. The price for each item rises by about 50% in each subsequent store. It is not as absurd as in some other examples of that trope, since the deeper levels are more dangerous and far from the surface, which makes it mor expensive to operate a shop there.
* ''VideoGame/PocketStables'' has this in both the research and shopping aspects of the game. Every time you buy something, the price of that item goes up so that it's more expensive the next time you buy it. The same goes for researching of new breeds- every time you research a breed, the cost of researching the next breed goes up by 10 tokens.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** {{Averted|Trope}}: Everything costs the same amount wherever you go (though it does strike one as a little strange that a small shop in tiny little Mahogany Town would stock Ultra Balls when Goldenrod City's massive department store doesn't), and Pokémon Centers are always free.
** The fourth generation even averts the odd stock issues - the stock in all stores is dependent on how many badges you have - they just won't sell Ultra Balls to greenhorn trainers. The only city-dependent items are specialty balls that generally have explanations as to why they're only sold there (like selling balls that are better at catching Water-types in a fishing village).
** Also in Goldenrod City (both in the original Gold & Silver and their fourth generation remakes) there is a "bargain shop" that sells you expensive items with no use other than being sold, at 90% of their selling price. However, you cannot get rich from it; the salesman is only there on Monday mornings, and only sells you one of each item each time. It's more of a steady income than anything.
** The fancy store in the center of Black City. $10,000 for a Poke Ball?
* In ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'', things will cost more as you progress; weapons, armor, and in the first two games, CashGates and gadgets all get more and more expensive the farther you are in the game.
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Recettear}} Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale]]'' plays with the trope in many ways:
** In this game, '''you''' can be a blood gutter merchant who sets a price of whatever you sell very high. The tactic does work on one RichBitch, but raising item's prices above 200% will piss off most of your customers.[[note]]The page image is a parody of this[[/note]]. Some notable aspects of this:
** Average customers can be made to cough up 250% for food during a famine. As food demand is very inelastic, this is justified.
** This is {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d when you buy your first wholesale stock for the express purpose of selling at an inflated price for profit - your fairy assistant mentions Adam Smith by name.
** And a great example of ArtificialStupidity: in the unpatched game, the first "tutorial" customer will ''never'' walk out on a bad deal, meaning you can bid them up to several million for the very first item in the game.
** While the game ''lets'' you overcharge for items, it's actually kind of averted via [[GuideDangIt hidden mechanics mentioned absolutely nowhere in game.]] Customers will only like you if you give them good deals right out of the gate -- i.e., no gouging or haggling -- and fostering reputation is the only way they come in with more money over time (most notably, the first couple times this happens their budgets go up by a factor of almost 10). Following the tutorial's rule of selling at 130% is likely to get you comfortably through the first two weeks, then screw you in the second half of the month when nobody can afford the higher tier items you need to sell to keep up.
** Also subverted in that many players will also sell high-end adventuring gear at a loss to the various adventurers who come into the shop: this makes it much easier to go through dungeons with those characters, and if the adventurer brings their own personally owned gear rather than borrowed gear from the shop, it frees up extra space to bring back loot. If used intelligently, that extra loot will more than make up for the lost revenue from the initial sale.
* In {{Videogame/Robocraft}} the costs of new parts for your robot start to get downright silly as you progress through the tiers. For instance, wheels are reasonably priced at a few hundred a pop in Tier 2. But in Tier 5, each one costs upwards of 4000. And it only goes up from there.
* In RuneFactoryIV there are two Doctors, a man and his wife. The first time you die you pay a fee if the male Doctor revives you, which doubles each time. So if you die "a lot" it gets INSANELY EXPENSIVE. Though as a bit of fairness if his wife revives you, she heals you for free, but that doesn't reset the male Doctor's ongoing fees.
* In the ARPG ''VideoGame/{{Sacred}} II'', high-level items are more expensive than low-level items. A level 120 healing potion sells for $1200, enough to buy 150 level 1 pots if you are level 1. And both heal exactly 24%. Further, one can merge one $1200 pot with 19 $12 pots, making a stack of 20 $1200 pots.
* ''VideoGame/SaGa'' series:
** This occurs in ''VideoGame/SaGa2'': Hihō Densetsu''​ (rebranded and released as ''Final Fantasy Legend II'' outside of Japan). It can be difficult enough to grow in strength since weapons have limited uses, and the prices go up by a huge amount as the game progresses, but there's a bug that occurs when you win a fight: each group of enemies is checked one by one to see if they drop meat (used to transform Monster class characters), but if you were fighting 3 different enemy groups, the game does not calculate dropped gold for the remaining groups if meat happens to be dropped by the first or second group. If you were fighting 3 different groups of enemies and the first group consisted of only 1 monster whereas the two others had 9 monsters in them, you would be ripped off of almost all the gold you should have obtained if the first monster group happens to drop meat because you will only get the full amount of gold you were supposed to get if the enemies do not drop meat, or if you're lucky enough that the last enemy group is the one to drop meat. As a result, making money is very frustrating because a lot of the time you'll only get 1/3 to 2/3 of the enemy groups dropping their gold.
** You can exploit this trope in ''VideoGame/SaGaFrontier'' thanks to a GoodBadBug. You can buy and sell gold nuggets in this game, and in one of the locales its price rises and falls as per the good old laws of supply and demand...except the game's programming recalculates the worth of your inventory ''in the sell menu before any actual goods change hands''! So, start with an inventory of about a dozen or so gold nuggets, "sell" them until the price per ingot is zero, and then toggle the number of ingots that you're "selling" until the price raises to a level where actually selling them ingot by ingot nets you a profit. Then, travel to another locale where the price of gold is fixed and buy more ingots than when you started, and repeat for effectively infinite money.
* [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in Telltale's ''VideoGame/SamandMaxFreelancePolice'' with Bosco's Inconvenience store. As the episodes go on, Bosco's hilariously specific (but always needed) [[BambooTechnology "inventions"]] cost more and more money, eventually going into millions of dollars. When Sam [[LampshadeHanging asks why Bosco keeps ramping up his prices,]] Bosco replies with "because you keep buying them!"
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfEvermore'':
** An interesting take on this: each of the four areas of the game uses an entirely different type of money (e.g. gold, gems or credits), and the ''exchange rate'' is where you get shafted, with e.g. 1 gold coin equal to 2 jewels or some such. Therefore, the item you buy may sell for the exact same price, but the currency in use is worth twice as much, so you're really paying twice as much for the same item.
** However, this is averted at the end of the game. The way this game works, the area you're in at that point is technically the first part of Evermore you get into it, predating the Prehistoric area, and in terms of currency, that means the exchange rate for this currency is at the lowest end of the hierarchy. If you saved up 25,000 coins, that makes 50,000 jewels, which makes 100,000 talons, which makes 200,000 credits.
* The first ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' for the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis had outrageous prices for weapons and powerups. You earned money by taking jobs but since the jobs paid very little, you ended up having to do the same few missions over and over again in order to get enough money to progress in the game. However, if you know where to find the data buyer, earning a lot of money really fast becomes a cakewalk, so long as you have even a mildly competent decker.
* In ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' games, sometimes shops and {{Trauma Inn}}s will jack up their prices at higher difficulties. In both ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' and ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'', increasing the difficulty to the max will triple prices in every shop in the former, and the Ginza shops selling the {{Infinity Plus One Sword}}s and premium armor sets in the latter. In ''IV'', a single full set of Ginza armor can easily exceed three million Macca in cost, and in ''III'', collecting all Magatamas is heavily hindered by the added cost.
* In ''VideoGame/ShovelKnight'' each progressive health and mana upgrade costs significantly more than the previous upgrade.
** Relics are found in chests deep within each stage... which Chester has somehow already found. Not only will he charge you for the relic, but if you wait to buy it in the village he'll actually charge you more.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSimsMedieval'', Sims can actually have this as a ''flaw''. It's called "Guild Enemy." Even when prices are low for everyone else in the kingdom (thanks to high Well-Being), the Guild Enemy has to pay a ridiculous markup unless he wants to go to non-Guild shops whose selection is pitiful.
* A rare aversion occurs in ''VideoGame/TheSpiritEngine2'': One of the endgame shopkeepers ''does'' agree to give you a discount. Played straight and {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by the shopkeeper right next to him, however, who scoffs at you when you tell him you're about to save the world.
* ''VideoGame/StarControl'' series:
** This is justified in-game by the fact that the Earth Starbase itself has severely limited resources (and crew, natch!)
** In the second game, there are actions you can take [[note]][[spoiler:[[WhatTheHellHero selling your crew to the Druuge to tend nuclear furnaces (and serve as fuel for same)]]]][[/note]] that will cause the price of crewmembers (effectively your life points in this game) to rise, along with the ire of your home station master.
** This will also occur if you consistently lose men you purchased from the Earth Starbase [[note]]This can easily happen if you try to use the pitiful [[ArtificialStupidity Cyborg]] - [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard Which except for very few specific instances guarantees the loss of a ship or 13]] - instead of actually controlling your ships[[/note]], but this takes longer and can easily be offset by [[spoiler: giving Tanaka (or his brother) a Shofixti maiden after repeatedly insulting him and escaping, thereby speedily repopulating the Shofixti race]].
** An inversion can occur via the Syreen Penetrator [[note]]which, being the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue Skinned Space Babes]] ship, looks EXACTLY like you'd expect[[/note]], which has the ability to call crew from the opposing ship and capture them. Master this, and you start getting REWARDED for slavery, as you can then sell the enslaved crew back at the inflated price.
** Near the end of the game, there is a subversion when [[spoiler:the Chmmr suddenly grant you unlimited resources to build anything you wish.]] This can be a double subversion because your main badass supership needs to be converted into a flying bomb by the Chmmr in order to destroy the big bad's superweapon, effectively taking it out of the fight.
** The Druuge exhibit a couple of variations:
*** If you sell enough crew to the Druuge it is quite explicitly stated that you're effectively bribing people to join up with a known slave trader.
*** You can also turn the tables on the Druuge in a very simple way. [[labelnote:Explanation]]You can sell them a small portion of your crew or one of a few various [[MacGuffin MacGuffins]] that you pick up on your travels and they will pay you by fully fueling up your ship. Now fuel can be bought and sold at your home starbase, and your ship can be reconfigured as one giant fuel tank. Go to the Druuge with an empty giant fuel tank, sell some crew or a MacGuffin, watch them fuel you right up and scream at how you pulled a savage burn on them! Then you fly back to your home starbase and sell all your fuel for a CRAPTON of cash to buy all the ships and expensive upgrades you'll ever need.[[/labelnote]]
** Justified and Lampshaded, with the Melnorme traders - their culture considers giving without receiving in turn to be vulgar.
* ''VideoGame/StarFlight'': The price of fuel for your vessel will DOUBLE several times over the course of the game, and while the rationale is provided for it in the reports you'll get, you won't get any warning that this is going to happen until you return home and see the price has doubled again. %%This will appear as a Red Link until the page is namespaced, which I will do after I finish the cleanup here.
** Once you know everything you need to beat the game properly, you can rush through and finish the story before the first date falls, thereby stalling the increase in price permanently. However, most players are unable to beat it to the first increase. As many find catching animals and finding new mine-able planets the gameplay's appeal, this seems intentional.
** Downplayed in the Genesis version, in which the price increases in relatively small increments. It's also fairly easy to amass enough money that the price increases don't hurt much.
* The price of the Seltzer item in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'' increases linearly with the time spent playing the game on that file.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' does this with its Exchange as some items are priced in the hundreds of ''millions'' of Energy Credits, usually the more rare, have to use real cash to buy items and ships. This has lead to a massive abundance of player created missions for the sole purpose of amassing fortunes (which of course makes the problem worse by injecting even more money into the economy).
* ''VideoGame/SteambotChronicles'' has this happen with the price of fuel and parts/repairs as you progress through the story. Working through the story segments quickly and not recognizing the point where you can jump off and just go wandering about for a few game weeks can lead to severe cash flow problems and/or death. Prepared players, however, can easily amass a nice fat bankroll and a stockpile of parts to sell back to the shops at the newly-inflated prices, although that latter is only slightly better than breaking even.
* In the FPS/RPG ''VideoGame/{{Strife}}'', the quartermaster at The Front base will give you a few assault rifle clips if you run out. Aside from that don't expect any hand-outs from him or from the citizens that you're trying to save from the evil empire/cult.
* In ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'' with good stats and lucky clicks, you can either reprogram vendor machines to give items at lower prices, or change the stock altogether, replacing soda drinks with armor-piercing bullets.
* ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'':
** The player can choose to avert this themselves in any ''Tales'' game by taking advantage of the fact that many commodities - especially food - don't cost as much in some areas as in others. It's possible to make ridiculous amounts of money as a merchant if you know the differences.
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfInnocence'', a GoodBadBug made Hermana's Bear Claw sell for more than its own price.
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'', not only does each successive town charge more for the inn, but the moment you visit an inn, every other inn you've ever been to increases ''their'' prices to match the new one.
** ZigZagged in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' -- prices go up and down dependent upon actual availability. If a town is destroyed, its products get more expensive. If there's a war on, weapons are suddenly at a premium. On your NewGamePlus you can take serious advantage of this by stocking up on items when they're cheap and unloading them when the price skyrockets.
*** However, the most expensive inn is in Sheridan at 600 Gald, unless you count the Keterburg Hotel, which is explicitly stated to be for the rich and does have a much cheaper Inn. This is compared to Daath, whose inn is 200 Gald. Sheridan's inn successfully beats out both capital cities. Prices for that, though, can be averted with the Mini Maven title for Anise.
** Played with in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' to some extent. Shops will still charge you, but certain events such as the dragon tours and trips to Thoda Geyser will not charge anything as the people can't take the Chosen's money.
* The current economy in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. Prior to the update that saw Team Fortress 2 gain Steam Marketplace compatibility, Crate Keys (generally $2.49 a pop) were traded at roughly 2.33 Refined Metal, gained from crafting 2 items together to make 1 Scrap, 3 Scrap together to get 1 Reclaimed, and 3 Reclaimed together to get 1 Refined. As soon as that update hit, the price of keys more than doubled, going from 2.33 Refined to 5 Refined in roughly 2 weeks due to people selling keys on the Steam Marketplace, usually undercutting the Mann Co price by 70 cents to a dollar. And keys still sell for $2.49 at the Mann Co store.
** The Scout manages to hash the Heavy over this in a domination quote.
--->''"$400,000 to fire that gun, huh? Yeah, money well spent. Them $200 bullets ain't so hot when they don't hit nothin', are they?!"''
* ''VideoGame/TestDrive Unlimited'' suffers this with the police fines. They start off reasonable, but as the player progresses become ridiculous. Further, they are based off of the number cars the player collides with and the only tactic the police use to stop the player is running into him.
* In ''VideoGame/TinyTower'', the price to build a floor goes up with each new floor built, even if the floor is always empty and therefore not making any coins.
* An extreme example of this and RidiculousFutureInflation occurs in ''VideoGame/TransportTycoon''. The game simulates inflation by making everything more expensive the longer one plays. If a player plays long enough, a regular bus will eventually cost more than the GNP of any (or with enough time played EVERY) country on Earth. In extreme cases, the AI may found a company so late in the game that the starting funds are not enough to buy a single vehicle, forcing bankruptcy right after building their headquarters!
* ''VideoGame/TreasureHunterG'' had a surprisingly realistic aversion of this. The cost of items fluctuates depending on how rare they would be in that area. For example, items from the forest will be much more expensive in castle cities to buy or sell. This is actually how you make money in the game, since enemies [[MoneySpider don't drop cash upon defeat]]: Buy items where they're cheap (or find them in dungeons) and sell them where they are expensive.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Tropico}}'' series, inflation occurs gradually over the course of the 20th century. Unless you raise the rates of Tropicans' earnings as well as gradually increase the price of your exports, you will have a lot of unhappy Tropicans noting the disparity between the average Caribbean wage rates and yours.
* ''VideoGame/VictoriaAnEmpireUnderTheSun'' works on a crude supply and demand scheme. This often makes it feel like Adam Smith Hates Your Guts because when a major war breaks out the cost of war materials can increase drastically. This is perfectly realistic of course, and if you happened to somehow coax your capitalists into building said weapons factories you might earn a tidy profit. A more straight version perhaps is that as technology (and hence production efficiency) increases so does demand: Unless you keep up the pace you might well end up with a population unable to buy the fancy new toys your factories are producing.
* In ''VideoGame/WarioWorld'', there are machines that sell garlic (health). The later the level, the higher the price. Some machines will even raise the price for each clove that is bought.
* A {{downplayed}} example in ''VideoGame/WildARMS3''; inn prices increase the longer one plays the game but stay reasonable even over long periods of time.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''
** After the release of the "Burning Crusade" expansion, the market for low level items and materials soared due to vast amount of gold being generated by high level characters and the massive demand for low level gear for said high level character's low level alts.
** The inflation in the cost of flightpaths is a direct example of this trope. One can fly from one tip of the Eastern Kingdoms to the Other for less then a gold, but it'll cost that much to travel within the zone in Icecrown.
** The most flagrant example, however, is that because enemies drop magic items and other pieces of manufactured equipment, equipment manufactured by players is actually cheaper than raw materials. A character with two gathering professions (Herbalism, Mining, Skinning) is a good way of amassing a huge fortune quickly.
** A partial inversion occurs with faction rep discounts, getting to a higher reputation with a faction causes all vendors allied to that faction to offer you increasing discounts on all items.
* ''VideoGame/KillerIsDead'': Every time you buy an item, the price skyrockets. For instance, the first time you buy a ''stick'' of gum it's a reasonable 10 units. Then the price becomes 10010 units.
* In the mobile game ''Taps To Riches'', you play as a reformed {{Supervillain}} who wants to take over the world by legally buying every run down dump and upgrading them to make a fortune to pump into more upgrades. Being a mobile game, these prices start to get higher and higher until you have to wait days to purchase a single building, [[BribingYourWayToVictory if you don't purchase in-game upgrades]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' offers an [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0122.html explanation]] for this. Prices are not actually as high as they are in video games... until they spot Player Characters moving into the town. In which case, they will bring prices up, and open up shops just to make money.
* ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}'' once had the explanation that Nodwick's employers were such successful adventurers that they'd ended up wrecking the town's economy due to how much gold, silver, and precious gems they'd brought back: gold was worth less than lead and emeralds were no more valuable than gravel.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The shopkeepers in ''Roleplay/WarrensOfOricTheAwesome''. There are 3 different currencies , with ridiculous exchange rates between them (10 fountain pence for a stream ruby, 5 stream rubies for a fountain pence). The shops often inflate their prices, and are the only practical way to gain stats.
* Parodied in ''Website/{{Cracked}}'s'' video [[http://www.cracked.com/video_18558_why-shopping-in-video-game-universe-sucks.html "Why Shopping in a Video Game Universe Sucks"]].
-->'''Link:''' Forty ''thousand'' rupees for a satchel? This is cheap burlap!