ABSTRACT: The paper discusses the criteria about how one can establish if a group is a new genre. It distinguishes between two main lines of thinking about genre in general – content and discourse. Both lines have two things to discuss. For content it is similarities and differences in mechanics, and for discourse it is commercial and social purpose of the use of new categories. The case studies then show how this can be applied to the rising auto battler class. There are 7 core mechanics in games that are similar, but every game differs in small details from others. The discourse in the social and commercial sphere has appeared over a short time period, and the adoption of the new genre by the gaming community was therefore fast. The bottom line of the text is that using rigid categories for discussions about digital games cannot focus only on rigid criteria, but also on context.
KEY WORDS: auto battler, core mechanics, digital games, game typologies, genres studies, modding.