The recent unlockable/grinding discussion got me thinking about some side-effects the concept of grinding for content has. I think there is a big misconception with how recent games reward players. In many games it works that way: You start out with nothing. You play and unlock stuff during play. Designers try to achieve the perfect pacing of giving you just enough to keep you playing but not give you more. As the game gets older more stuff is added that can be grinded for. Imo this mindset is a problem already but my main issue comes now: This content can be collected more easily if you already possess a lot of the older content (it can be items, heroes, runes, levels etc.). What this does is it makes it entirely impossible for new players to jump into a game and get to the top with their skill alone. The older a game gets the higher the barrier of entry becomes. For some games it might be fine, mainly single player adventures/non-grouping content in MMOs. In other games, especially in competitive games, this starves out the player base in the long run. I mean at first it might get you a huge boost in the number of players due to f2p. But then you make the game less appealing to new players. I think this is a big issue that kills a lot of games in the long run. It gets a lot of money as long as the game is running fine and then the game is ditched. I really don't get this mentality of making something that is not supposed to be playable 5 to 10 years later. Don't get me wrong, I can totally understand game concepts that rely on giving the players more content over time (releasing expansions etc.). Sirlin strives for games that don't even need that but I can see why those games are made a lot. What I don't understand why every player has to take the same route than the players that started the game 5 years ago. When I see an expansion released for a game with content that basically reads "don't buy me if you don't played the main game for at least a year" it makes me sad. I think games should offer more rubber-band mechanics that give players starting later a chance to catch up faster. Those mechanics could be entirely optional for players that want to experience old content. Please discuss. Also I'd like you to give examples of games that did a good/bad job in this regard.