As the distribution rate of mobile devices increases, mobile games have become an indispensable pastime for many people. Besides mobile and online games, there are many different types of games by genre and platform.

Today, we at Latis Global, experts in game localization, game operations, QA, and game sound services for game developers that aim towards an overseas expansion, will look into the differences between online and offline games, as well as their characteristics, genres, and types.

Characteristics of Online Games & Their Most Popular Works

1. Available Anytime, Anywhere

As long as you have a smartphone, online games serviced on a mobile platform can be easily played anywhere, anytime, without the limitations of time and space. Before the Internet and smartphones became commonplace, people enjoyed games through laptops or desktops at Internet cafes or private spaces operated by communities. Nowadays, however, online games can easily be played regardless of time and place thanks to portable gaming devices, such as smartphones, Nintendo Switch, and Steam Deck, which came out last year.

2. Mobile Devices and Online Games

As high-spec smartphones are more commonly used these days, the market share of mobile games, which are more accessible than PC and console games, continuous to rise. Since most mobile games are distributed online and support relevant functions, they fall under the category of online games and even account for a large percentage of the sales in the online gaming market.

By checking the list of top 10 most popular online games in the world in early February 2023 published by the online sports portal site Sportsbrowser, one can see that many of the games listed have a mobile version. Among them, there are a total of eight games serviced on mobile platforms: PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS (1st), Minecraft (2nd), Apex Legends (3rd), Fortnite (4th), Hearthstone (6th), League of Legends (7th), Call of Duty: Mobile (8th), and Among Us (9th). This shows just how much mobile game sales contribute to online game sales.


Types of Offline Games & Their Representative Works

As opposed to online games, offline games can be enjoyed even without an Internet connection. Though they are far from being considered video games, board games can also be regarded as a type of offline game. Additionally, various classic games as well as games that do not require an online connection to be installed fall under the category of offline games.

  1. Action Games

An action game is defined as a game in which a player controls a character on the screen to defeat enemies, overcome obstacles, and move to a destination. Unlike in the past, when characters could only move on flat surfaces in a 2D environment, the current technology has evolved in a way that allows characters to move more realistically.

Representative examples of this genre are the Super Mario series (Nintendo), Crash Bandicoot series (Naughty Dog & Activision), Viewtiful Joe series (Capcom), and others.

2. Role-Playing Games (RPG)

In RPG games, players control several characters, take on various roles in the fictional world within the game, progress throughout its story, and enjoy their own adventures. By playing as the main protagonist in the game, players can have fun as they complete missions and enhance their character’s equipment and abilities.

3. Adventure Games

If action games are games in which a player controls a character to fight against enemies, adventure games are those that require the player to solve problems by using various clues and items in order to progress. In past adventure games, plots that encouraged players to use their intelligence to overcome crises in challenging moments were strongly preferred.

Since it often gets mixed with action and RPG games, it is still somehow ambiguous to fully define the genre of an adventure game. For example, while The Legend of Zelda series attempts to combine the enjoyable traits of both adventure and RPG games, the Tomb Raider and Uncharted series can be considered games that include characteristics of action and adventure games.

4. Simulation Games (SIM)

Simulation game refers to a game that provides an indirect experience to gamers by implementing an environment similar to a real-life situation. Originally developed for educational purposes, such as driving practice and military training, it has now become one of the main game genres, though it is still being used to educate as well.

The representative works of this genre are The Sims, Black & White, Populous, and others. Besides them, there are also various different types of simulation games, such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Strategy), StarCraft (Real-Time Strategy), Princess Maker (Life Simulation), and SimCity (Construction and Management Simulation).

Differences Between Online and Offline Games

Online games require a network connection, which can be used to save game progress in real time and allows players to enjoy games anytime, anywhere. Recently, they have also become free from platform restrictions, including PC, mobile, consoles, and other platforms, as they have begun to support cross-platform environments. However, when users are in an environment where Internet access is unavailable, users cannot play them. In addition, since these games heavily rely on the network’s condition, their servers can significantly be affected by any connectivity issues. Because of this, a player’s experience could vary depending on their country or region. On the contrary, offline games can be played without Internet access, but it is still impossible to play them with other players who are far away without a network.

Today, we went over the basic definitions of online and offline games as well as their representative works by genre. Even though most of the recently-released games provide online-related functions, it would still be wise to target niche markets with games that do not require an Internet connection based on the genre of the game being developed, the targeted gamers’ ages and tendencies, and regional characteristics. For any questions regarding the gaming market, please email, call, or live chat with us at any time.

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