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How does one define "mobile games?" Like, I have seen people call Granblue Fantasy a mobile game, but it is played on a browser. Similarly, Shadowverse was playable only on mobile, but Cygames released a Steam version.

Genshin Impact is another "mobile game", but it has a PC version. How does one draw the line between "mobile games" and games with other versions for other platforms?

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The definition of "mobile games" come from being released on a mobile platform first. It is certain that the game is played more on mobile devices, whilst its 1st release came from a mobile device.

Take Minecraft. Is it a mobile game? No. It first came out as a PC release as what we know as Java Edition. Soon then, Mojang decided to create a Minecraft which is playable on mobile. This version would be called Pocket Edition, written in C++, meaning its incapable of playing with PC servers. Soon, after the realization that all controller, mobile, and Windows 10 versions are written in the same language, they combined it to become Bedrock.

So is Bedrock Edition still considered a mobile game? Depends. It does have a big part of the users playing on mobile, still.

Whatever the case, a "mobile game" is basically a game originating from a mobile platform.

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  • While this is true, I'd add a note about micro-transactions and whaling. The reason mobile games are so popular is that they reach a wider audience and it allows a company to go whaling (a whale is someone who would spend more money on the game than any of us can even fathom). One whale can keep an entire mobile game alive as long as they're dropping money. If I found a game that released on Mobile first, but was a real game with real gameplay and didn't have micro-transactions, I'd be hesitant to call it a mobile game despite, yes, releasing on Mobile first. Like-wise for the opposite.
    – Shelby115
    Oct 20, 2023 at 12:19

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