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MobyGames is a commercial website that catalogs video games both past and present. This includes over 250 gaming platforms and over 170,000 games. The site is supported by banner ads and by users paying to become patrons.
Logo used from 11 March 2014
Type of site
|Owner||Blue Flame Labs|
|Alexa rank||22,154 (December 2018[update])|
|Launched||January 30, 1999|
The MobyGames database contains information on video games and the people and companies behind them. Some individual developer profiles have biographical information.
Content is added on a volunteer crowdsourced basis, with all items tracked to a non-anonymous user account. Prior to being merged into the database—whether it be an entirely new entry or a small piece of information appending any existing item—all submissions must first go through a process of verification by volunteer "approvers". There is a published standard for game information and copyediting. The most commonly used sources are game packaging and manual or the game itself (title and credit screens), but also publishers' announcements, interviews with developers, etc.
Registered users can rate and review any game entry, and the scores are aggregated into a single value. Users can create game "have lists" and "want lists," which may be optionally made public. This can generate a list of games available for trade with other users.
The site has an integrated forum. Each listed game can have its own subforum.
MobyGames was founded on March 1, 1999, by Jim Leonard, Brian Hirt, and David Berk (who joined 18 months after the project started, but was still credited as a founder), three friends since high school. Leonard had the idea of sharing information about electronic games with a larger audience.
The database began with entries for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows games, since those were the only systems the founders were familiar with. On its second birthday, MobyGames started supporting other platforms, initially consoles of the time such as the PlayStation, with older systems added later. According to David Berk, new platforms are added once there is enough information researched to design the necessary framework for them in the database, as well as people willing to be approvers for the new platform.
In mid-2010, MobyGames was sold by its founders to GameFly for an undisclosed amount. As this was only announced to the community post factum, a few major contributors left in protest, refusing to do volunteer work for the now commercially owned website.
On December 18, 2013, MobyGames was acquired by Jeremiah Freyholtz, owner of Blue Flame Labs (a San-Francisco-based game and web development company) and VGBoxArt (a site for fan-made video game boxart). Upon assuming control of the site, Blue Flame Labs reverted MobyGames' interface to its pre-overhaul look and feel.
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- "MobyGames FAQ: Emails Answered § When will my submission be approved?". MobyGames.com. Blue Flame Labs. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "The MobyGames Standards and Practices". MobyGames.com. Blue Flame Labs. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Report: MobyGames Acquired By GameFly Media". Gamasutra. 2011-07-02.
- Corriea, Alexa Ray. "MobyGames purchased from GameFly, improvements planned". Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- "New(ish!) on MobyGames - the Mainframe platform". MobyGames.com. Blue Flame Labs. 18 June 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.