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Logo since March 2014
Type of site
|Owner||Blue Flame Labs|
|Alexa rank||24,916 (September 2019)|
|Launched||January 30, 1999|
MobyGames is a commercial website that catalogs information on video games and the people and companies behind them via crowdsourcing. This includes nearly 300 gaming platforms and over 200,000 games. The site is supported by banner ads and by users paying to become patrons.
Content is added by members with a non-anonymous user account. Prior to being merged into the database, changes go through a verification process by volunteer "approvers". There is a published standard for game information and copyediting. The most commonly used sources are video game packaging and title and credit screens.
Registered users can rate and review any game. Users can create private or public "have" and "want" lists which 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 and Brian Hirt, then joined by David Berk 18 months later, 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 to design the framework for them in the database, as well as people willing to be approvers.
In mid-2010, MobyGames was purchased by GameFly for an undisclosed amount. This was announced to the community post factum and a few major contributors left in protest, refusing to do volunteer work for a 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 box art). Blue Flame Labs reverted MobyGames' interface to its pre-overhaul look and feel.