MobyGames' official logo
URL MobyGames.com Commercial? Yes Type of site Gaming Registration Optional Available language(s) English Owner GameFly Created by Jim Leonard and Brian Hirt Launched March 1, 1999 Current status active
MobyGames is a website which catalogs computer and video games, both past and present. The site contains an extensive database of video game information. The website's goal is defined as the following by the website's FAQ: "To meticulously catalog all relevant information about electronic games (computer, console, and arcade) on a game-by-game basis, and then offer up that information through flexible queries and 'data mining'. In layman's terms, it's a huge game database." As of October 23, 2011, the catalog includes 99 separate gaming platforms (consoles, computers and handheld devices including mobile phones) and more than 61,000 game entries. It was purchased by GameFly in 2010 for an undisclosed amount.
Content to MobyGames is added on a voluntary basis. The ideas are similar to a wiki, though not identical. Anonymous contributions are not allowed, each item is tracked to a user account for auditing purposes. Furthermore, all information submitted to MobyGames is individually verified by users with Approver access before it goes into the database.
MobyGames also maintains a comprehensive list of developers, such as programmers, game designers and artists. This list is garnered from the credit information for games in their database. Some developer profiles have biographical information, similarly to how IMDb tracks credits for various film actors and crew.
Almost all information on a game can be included in MobyGames. Each entry can include a summary, credits, release information (across different countries and releases — many budget-price reissues are documented), cover art scans, screenshots (rules for contributing these are strict, ensuring perfect quality), reviews (unlimited), technical specifications for the game, trivia, tips & tricks (not necessarily cheats), advertising blurbs the game may have used.
MobyGames allows its users to rate their favorite games. The top rated games are then featured in a series of lists sorted by genre, system, year, etc. There is also a list for "The 25 Greatest Games of All Time".
The site also features an integrated forum - apart from sections on general subjects and community related matters, each listed game can have its own subforum.
Concepts and goals
The primary goal of MobyGames is to meticulously catalog all video games. MobyGames relies upon user contributions for accurate information of video games ranging anywhere from the '70s to the 21st century. The goal is to record all historically relevant information about a game.
MobyGames relies upon the idea that the website is built largely upon the contributions of the members of the site. The games added to the site are all added by users that contribute a missing game or some aspect of the game like credits or screenshots. Games can range anywhere from the 1970s up until the release date before it is entered into the database. Many games are missing relevant information such as credits, cheats, screenshots, and covers which can be contributed by users as long as the information is accurate. Almost all information relevant to the game is cataloged including its rating (ESRB, PEGI, CERO, etc.), screenshots, cover art, technical specifications, release info (including release info for every country the game is released in), and advertising blurbs.
Besides this information, users can write reviews for any game entry. Reviews are written and submitted to the website, and later re-edited by the author if necessary. The site also allows for users to enter in trivia or their own walkthroughs/cheats/hints for others to use.
MobyGames was founded on March 1, 1999 by Jim Leonard, Brian Hirt, and David Berk (joined 18 months after project started, but still credited as a founder), three friends since high school. Leonard had the idea of sharing information about electronic games with a larger audience; out of that desire came MobyGames.
MobyGames began with just entries for DOS and Windows games, since those were the only systems the founders were familiar with. On its second birthday, MobyGames started supporting other platforms, initially the leading consoles of the time such as the PlayStation, with classic systems added later.
Other 2005 additions include the MSX, Amstrad CPC, TRS-80, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Java ME, Xbox 360 and Gizmondo. 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 2006, Atari 8-bit, Commodore PET, Macintosh computers, Channel F, Magnavox Odyssey, CD-i, Dragon 32/64, Magnavox Odyssey², iPod, PlayStation 3 and Wii were added to the database. The documentation of Spectravideo and iPhone/iPod Touch titles, and games developed for Web browser technology, was started in 2008. BBC Micro added in May 2010. Systems such as the SAM Coupé and Amstrad GX4000 are still absent.
In Summer 2010 MobyGames was acquired by GameFly.
MobyGames was nominated for, but did not receive a Webby Award for Best Game-related Website by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences on April 11, 2006.
Platforms listed in the database
- Amiga CD32
- Amstrad CPC
- Apple II
- Apple IIgs
- Atari 2600
- Atari 5200
- Atari 7800
- Atari 8-bit
- Atari ST
- BBC Micro
- Channel F
- Commodore 128
- Commodore 64
- Commodore PET/CBM
- Dragon 32/64
- FM Towns
- FM Towns Marty
- Gameboy Advance
- Gameboy Color
- Game Gear
- iPod Classic
- N-Gage (service)
- Neo Geo
- Neo Geo CD
- Neo Geo Pocket
- Neo Geo Pocket Color
- Nintendo 3DS
- Nintendo 64
- Nintendo DS
- Nintendo DSi
- Palm OS
- PC Booter
- PlayStation 2
- PlayStation 3
- PlayStation Portable
- SEGA 32X
- SEGA CD
- SEGA Master System
- SEGA Saturn
- TRS-80 CoCo
- TurboGrafx CD
- Virtual Boy
- Windows 3.x
- Windows Mobile
- Windows Phone
- Wonderswan Color
- Xbox 360
- ZX Spectrum
Platforms not yet included
- ^ Ports for different platforms count towards this number. Without ports, compilations or special editions the number of unique titles is over 30,000.
- ^ MobyGames database stats. Retrieved from MobyGames 2011-08-29.
- ^ "The 25 Greatest Games of All Time" list from MobyGames
- ^ 2006 Webby Nominees, Games-Related category
- Rusel DeMaria, Johnny L. Wilson, High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games, McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media; 2 edition (December 18, 2003), ISBN 0-07-223172-6
- Katherine Isbister, Better Game Characters by Design: A Psychological Approach (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive 3D Technology), Morgan Kaufmann; Pap/Cdr edition (June 5, 2006), ISBN 1-55860-921-0
- Christy Marx, Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games, Focal Press (October 25, 2006), ISBN 0-240-80582-8
- Jean Swanson, Dean James, The Dick Francis Companion, Berkley Trade; Berkley Pr edition (July 29, 2003), ISBN 0-425-18187-1
- Sheri Graner Ray, Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding The Market (Advances in Computer Graphics and Game Development Series), Charles River Media; 1 edition (September 2003), ISBN 1-58450-239-8
- Jason Rutter, Jo Bryce, Understanding Digital Games, Sage Publications Ltd (May 24, 2006), ISBN 1-4129-0033-6
- Ari Feldman, Designing Arcade Computer Game Graphics, Wordware Publishing; Bk&CD-Rom edition (November 1, 2000), ISBN 1-55622-755-8
- Dave Morris, Leo Hartas, Strategy Games, Thomson Course Technology (2004), ISBN 1-59200-253-6
- Diane Carr, Computer Games: Text, Narrative and Play, Polity (2006), ISBN 0-7456-3401-X
- Torben Kragh Grodal, Bente Larsen, Iben Thorving Laursen, Visual Authorship: Creativity and Intentionality in Media, Museum Tusculanum Press (2005), ISBN 87-635-0128-7
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