Game industry terms and abbreviations dictionary

The terms and abbreviations used in the game industry can become dizzying sometimes. Therefore we have compiled these terms and created a dictionary to assist anyone in need. Just press “Ctrl+F” and search for the term or abbreviation that you are looking for.
The word dictionary magnified on a dictionary page.

AI: Artificial Intelligence, which refers to programming and algorithms that allow machines to perform tasks that typically require human-like intelligence.

AR: Augmented Reality, which is a technology that overlays digital information (such as graphics, text, or sound) onto the real world through a device, such as a smartphone or headset.

ARPDAU: Average Revenue Per Daily Active User, which is a metric used to measure the revenue generated by a game per user per day.

ARPDAUI: Average Revenue Per Daily Active User, per Install, which is a metric used to measure the revenue generated by a game per user per day, relative to the number of times the game has been installed.

ARPPDAU: Average Revenue Per Paying Daily Active User, which is a metric used to measure the revenue generated by a game per user who has made a payment, per day.

ARPU: Average revenue per user, sometimes known as average revenue per unit, is a measure used primarily by consumer communications, digital media, and networking companies, defined as the total revenue divided by the number of subscribers.

ASO: App Store Optimization, which is the process of optimizing a game’s listing in an app store (such as the Apple App Store or Google Play) to improve its visibility and increase downloads.

asset(s): In the game industry, assets refer to any element of a game that can be used in the game’s creation, such as graphics, sound effects, or code.

ATT: App tracking transparency. A feature introduced by Apple in 2021 that requires apps to get users’ permission before tracking their activity across other apps or websites.

battle royale (games): A genre of game in which multiple players compete against each other in a last-person-standing-style competition.

blockchain: A digital ledger technology that uses cryptography to secure transactions and create a permanent record of those transactions.

casual game(s): A type of game that is easy to pick up and play, typically requiring only a short time commitment.

cloud gaming: A technology that allows users to play games that are hosted on remote servers, rather than on their own devices.

conversion: The process of converting a user from a free player to a paying player.

CPE: Cost Per Engagement, which is a metric used to measure the cost of an advertising campaign based on how much it costs to get users to engage with an ad.

CPI: Cost Per Install, which is a metric used to measure the cost of an advertising campaign based on how much it costs to get users to install an app.

CTA: Call to Action, which is an instruction or prompt given to a user to encourage them to take a specific action, such as clicking a button or making a purchase.

CTR: Click-Through Rate, which is a metric used to measure how often users click on an ad, relative to how many times the ad was shown.

DAO: Decentralized Autonomous Organization, which is an organization that is run using blockchain technology and operates without a central authority.

DAU: Daily Active Users, which is a metric used to measure how many unique users are active in a game on a daily basis.

DeFi: Decentralized Finance, is a type of financial system that operates using blockchain technology and operates without a central authority.

engagement: The level of interaction and involvement that a user has with a game or other product.

f2p: Free-to-play, which is a pricing model in which a game is available to play for free, but users can choose to make in-app purchases to enhance their gameplay experience.

GaaS: Games as a Service, is a business model in the game industry that involves providing ongoing post-launch support and updates for a game, typically through online services. This can include adding new content, features, and improvements over time, as well as ongoing technical support and bug fixes.

gachas: Refers to a type of monetization model commonly used in mobile games, where players can obtain in-game items or characters by spending real money on randomized draws or “gacha” pulls.

GameFi: A new term used to describe blockchain-based games that offer in-game financial incentives for players.

gamification: The process of applying game design elements and mechanics to non-game contexts, such as education, marketing, or employee training, to make them more engaging and motivating.

GUI: Graphical User Interface, which is the visual interface that allows users to interact with a game or application.

hackathon: A collaborative and sometimes competitive event where programmers, developers, and designers come together to work on a software or hardware project, typically within a limited time frame and with a specific goal in mind.

hyper-casual (games): A type of game that is designed to be played quickly and easily, typically with simple mechanics and short play sessions.

IAA: In-app advertising refers to advertisements that are displayed within a mobile app or game, typically in the form of display ads, interstitial ads, rewarded ads, or native ads. These ads are designed to be non-intrusive and relevant to the user’s interests, while also generating revenue for the app or game developer.

IAP: In-App Purchase, which is a way for players to buy digital content or virtual goods within a game, typically using real money.

IDFA: Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers, which is a unique identifier used by advertisers to track user activity across different apps and services.

IP: Intellectual property, property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material, and trademarks.

IPO: Initial Public Offering, which is a process by which a company raises money by selling shares of stock to the public for the first time.

KPI: Key Performance Indicator, which is a measurable value used to evaluate the success of a game or other product.

Live-ops: Live operations. The process of continuously maintaining and improving a live online service or game, such as adding new content, fixing bugs, or running promotional events.

metaverse: A term used to describe a shared virtual space where users can interact with each other and digital objects in a persistent online world.

microtransaction (or MTX): A small, typically optional, purchase made within a game or other digital product, such as the purchase of virtual currency or in-game items.

mid-core (games): A type of game that sits between casual and hardcore games, with mechanics that are more complex than casual games but less intense than hardcore games.

MMO (game): Massively multiplayer online game, an online video game with a large number of players on the same server. MMOs usually feature a huge, persistent open world, although there are games that differ.

MMOSLG: Massively Multiplayer Online Strategy/Life Simulation Game is a type of online game that allows players to interact with each other in a virtual world, build and manage their characters or avatars, and engage in strategic gameplay.

MMOSLGs typically involve a persistent virtual world where players can form alliances, join guilds, engage in diplomacy and politics, and compete against other players or player groups. These games usually have a large number of players, sometimes numbering in the tens or even hundreds of thousands, all playing together in the same game world.

Some famous examples of MMOSLGs include games like EVE Online, Second Life, and Virtual Worlds. These games often require a significant time investment from players, as they involve complex gameplay mechanics and social interactions. MMOSLGs can be enjoyed by players of all ages but are often geared toward older players interested in more complex and strategic gameplay.

MOBA: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, which is a genre of game that involves teams of players competing against each other in a large, strategic battle.

MR: Mixed Reality, which is a technology that blends elements of both virtual and augmented reality to create a more immersive and interactive experience.

NFT: Non-Fungible Token, which is a digital asset that is unique and cannot be replicated or replaced.

NPC: Non-Playable Character, which is a character in a game that is controlled by the game’s AI rather than by a player.

open-world: Refers to a type of game that allows players to explore a large, expansive game world with few restrictions.

P2E: Play-to-Earn, which is a type of game that allows players to earn real-world rewards or cryptocurrency by playing the game.

player asset(s): Refers to the digital assets or items that a player can acquire and use within a game.

PvP: Player versus Player, which is a game mode or mechanic that involves players competing against each other directly.

ROAS: Return on Ad Spend, which is a metric used to measure the revenue generated by an advertising campaign relative to the cost of the campaign.

RpD: Revenue per download. A metric used to measure the average revenue generated by a mobile app per download.

RTS (game): Real-Time Strategy is a video game where players manage resources, build bases or armies, and battle opponents in real-time. Gameplay is continuous and fast-paced, and split-second decisions can determine the outcome of battles. Popular examples include Age of Empires, StarCraft, Warcraft, and Command & Conquer.

SDK: Software Development Kit, which is a collection of software tools and resources used to develop applications and games.

UA: User Acquisition, which is the process of acquiring new users for a game or other product.

UGC: User-Generated Content, which refers to any content that is created by users rather than by the game’s developers.

UI: The user interface (UI) of a game refers to the visual and interactive elements that the player sees and interacts with, including menus, buttons, icons, and other graphical elements. The UI is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, allowing the player to navigate through the game and perform various actions.

UX: User experience (UX) refers to the overall experience that a player has while interacting with a game or other digital product, including the interface, gameplay, and other elements. The goal of UX design is to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for the player, while also meeting the needs and goals of the developer.

VR: Virtual Reality, which is a technology that immerses users in a computer-generated environment, typically through the use of a headset or other specialized equipment.

XR: Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term that refers to the combination of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies. XR is used to create immersive and interactive experiences that can be used for a wide range of applications, including gaming, education, and training. In the game industry, XR is used to create more immersive gameplay experiences, allowing players to interact with virtual environments and characters in new and exciting ways.

YoY: Year-over-year. A method of comparing data from one year to the next. Typically used to track changes in performance or growth over time.

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