What is a game genre?

A brief summary of how we defined our game genres at PlaytestCloud

Jack Dunne avatar
Written by Jack Dunne
Updated over a week ago

Billions of people are picking up their phones and playing the thousands of games that come out each year. Now more than ever we thought it was important to find a way to categorize these games to help you find the perfect players for your playtest. We based the genres not just on the games but also the players who play them. Our list consisting of 56 game genres is one of the most comprehensive available and is constantly being updated. 


Here's the base definition we used for a game genre: 

“At PlaytestCloud, a game genre is a collection of similar games containing two categories: core games and included games. Each genre can have up to 4 core games and many more included games. A player who is familiar with any core game title in the genre would at least understand and possibly enjoy the included game titles, due to their experience with a core game title and vice versa.”

The idea is to focus the genres as much around the players playing them as possible. There are two key components to the definition method which need to be explained further, they are the core and included game titles.

Core games

Core games set the stage for the whole genre, within each genre there are only a handful of core games (never more than 4). The core games must have similar game mechanics, core gameplay and/or graphics, they also can not be two games in the same series. To explain this in more detail it’s best to dive right in and Battle Royale games are a great place to start. 

From being dropped out of the sky, to finding weapons and shooting your enemies on a shrinking multiplayer map, it’s fair to say that Fortnite and PUBG have quite a bit in common. While they have similar core gameplay they also differ enough from each other to make them unique. PUBG has a more realistic graphic style while Fortnite has its building mechanic. These are the core games of our Battle Royale genre.  

Included games

The key to the included games is ensuring that they are relatable to the core game titles. In so far as their core gameplay, mechanics and/or graphics have similar traits to the core titles. Here are the included games for the Battle Royale genre:

  • H1Z1 

  • Darwin Project

  • Radical Heights

  • Maelstrom

  • Surviv.io

  • Stand Out

  • Arma 3

  • Call of Duty Black Ops 4

  • Realm Royale

  • Dying Light: Bad Blood

  • Rules of Survival

  • Fear the Wolves

  • Islands of Nyne Battle Royale

  • Pixel Gun 3D

  • Knives Out

  • Hopeless Land: Fight for Survival

  • Battlelands Royale

  • Rocket Royale

  • Survivor Royale

These games all share common themes and similarities with the core games. Finding weapons, online multiplayer battle modes and shrinking play zones. Importantly they also have their own unique flairs and differences. Arma 3 features a single player mode while Surviv.io is a 2D browser game. Fear the Wolves has its take on the Battle Royale format with (you guessed it) wolves as NPCs!


This is how we set about defining game genres to help you find the right target audience right from our order form. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out and we'll help you with any questions you may have!

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