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Logo since March 2014
Type of site
|Owner||Blue Flame Labs|
|Alexa rank||20,898 (March 2019)|
|Launched||January 30, 1999|
MobyGames is a commercial website that catalogs video games both past and present via crowdsourcing. This includes over 260 gaming platforms and over 190,000 games. The site is supported by banner ads and by users paying to become patrons.
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 including contemporary consoles 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). Blue Flame Labs reverted MobyGames' interface to its pre-overhaul look and feel.