I read about a certain kind of situation a few years back but I don’t know whether it has a formal name.
One player adopted a strategy that is expected to give him an advantage. It could be a new weapon, or a shopper’s discount, or a product warranty, or whatever. For a short time, he enjoys the advantage even though it requires an investment cost. However, the competition very quickly adopts the same strategy. Now everyone is investing but nobody is realizing the benefits they expected. The cost and inconvenience becomes burdensome.
Now each player continues to invest resources but nobody gets an advantage. They all wish they could drop out, but whoever drops out first cedes an advantage to the remaining players. Each player is trapped with a permanent resource drain but equilibrium prevents them from seeking a different strategy.
Is there a name for this type of situation?