MobyGames' official logo
|Type of site||Gaming|
|Created by||Jim Leonard and Brian Hirt|
|Launched||March 1, 1999|
|Alexa rank||20,874 (April 2013[update])|
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 March 19, 2013, the catalog includes 138 gaming platforms (consoles, computers and handheld devices including mobile phones - some of them grouped as a family as in the case of Atari 8-bit) and more than 72,000 games, spanning over 40 years.
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 (account registration is free) for auditing purposes. Furthermore, all information submitted to MobyGames is individually verified by users with Approver access before it goes into the database. The most commonly used sources are game packaging and manual or the game itself (title/credit screens), but also publishers' announcements, interviews with developers etc.
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 brief description characterizing the gameplay and setting
- alternative titles (in various languages)
- pertaining genres, themes, franchises
- credit information
- release information (across different countries and releases — including budget-price reissues) with product codes
- cover art scans
- screenshots (rules for contributing these are strict, they may not be borrowed from other websites)
- review excerpts (printed or online) and rating scores (aggregated into a MobyRank)
- technical specifications (medium, system requirements) for each platform
- tips & tricks (not necessarily cheat codes, but also hints, easter eggs, walkthroughs)
- advertising blurbs from the publisher
- content ratings (ESRB, PEGI, CERO, DEJUS etc.)
- links to official or fan websites
- non-indexed information (such as awards) may be entered as trivia
MobyGames allows its registered users to rate their favorite games (by perceived gameplay value, audio-visual and presentation quality, educational value, etc.), the scores are aggregated into a MobyScore. 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". Users can also write own reviews for any game entry (they may be later re-edited by the author if necessary).
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 1970s 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 (this allows for complex database searches).
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. CDTV, Game Wave, Microvision, bada, webOS, PlayStation Vita added in December 2011. Oric-1, Sharp X68000, Playdia, Super A'can, GP32, Supervision added in February 2012. Sega Pico, Pippin and RCA Studio II were added in March 2012. Acorn 32-bit family, Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4 (as a single grouping), Nuon, SG-1000, ZX80, and the ZX81 were added in April 2012. Sharp X1, Amstrad GX4000, Casio Loopy, Casio PV-1000, GP2X, GP2X Wiz were added in May 2012. FM-7, SAM Coupé, and SuperGrafx were added in June 2012. It has been argued on the MobyGames' message boards that Amstrad GX4000 and SuperGrafx should not be separate entries. Amstrad GX4000 has no games, so far, that are exclusive to that system. GX4000 cartridges will also run on an Amstrad 464Plus. SuperGrafx is already listed as a separate media type on MobyGames. Philips Videopac+ G7400, Acorn Atom, Thomson TO and Sinclair QL were added in July 2012. The Wii U console was added during its debut in November 2012. The Epoch Cassette Vision, Epoch Super Cassette Vision, Epoch Game Pocket Computer, Mattel Aquarius, Philips VG 5000, and Sord M5 were added on December 4th.
Certain systems are still absent.
In Summer 2010 MobyGames was acquired by GameFly.
MobyGames was nominated for 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 
- Acorn 32-bit family
- Amiga CD32
- Amstrad CPC (with Amstrad GX4000)
- Apple II
- Apple IIgs
- Atari 2600
- Atari 5200
- Atari 7800
- Atari 8-bit family
- Atari ST
- BBC Micro
- Casio Loopy
- Casio PV-1000
- Channel F
- Commodore 128
- Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4 (grouped together)
- Commodore 64
- Commodore CDTV
- Commodore PET/CBM
- DOS (PC)
- Dragon 32/64
- Epoch Cassette Vision
- Epoch Super Cassette Vision
- Epoch Game Pocket Computer
- FM Towns
- Game Boy
- Game Boy Advance
- Game Boy Color
- Game Wave
- GP2X Wiz
- iPod Classic
- Mattel Aquarius
- 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
- Philips VG 5000
- PlayStation 2
- PlayStation 3
- PlayStation Portable
- PlayStation Vita
- RCA Studio II
- SAM Coupé
- Sega 32X
- Sega Game Gear
- Sega CD
- Sega Master System
- SEGA Pico
- Sega Saturn
- Sharp X1
- Sharp X68000
- Sinclair QL
- Sord M5
- Super A'can
- Thomson TO7
- TRS-80 CoCo
- TurboGrafx CD
- Videopac+ G7400
- Virtual Boy
- Wii U
- Windows 3.x
- Windows Mobile
- Windows Phone
- WonderSwan Color
- Xbox 360
- ZX Spectrum
Limitations of scope 
Not all games can have entries at MobyGames, either due to authors' design decisions or limitations of thedatabase structure (a problem going beyond the addition of a new platform):
- cancelled (unreleased) games (this information may be entered as trivia for company/developer or relevant game series)
- unreleased games still in development (as all information is subject to change)
- games which appeared only in a compilation, without stand-alone release (while such compilations are listed)
- fan-made mods/total conversions of other games (this information may be entered as trivia for relevant game) - as opposed to commercially released ones
- platform-independent games, such as online MUDs, MUSHes etc. played over Telnet
- coin-operated arcade game machines (using wide range of hardware)
- pirated releases
Sometimes it may be debatable whether a given title should be allowed, as it's somewhat ambiguous what is a game, and there's no official definition in The MobyGames Standards and Practices so far.
- "Mobygames.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- Ports for different platforms count towards this number. Without ports/conversions, compilation and special edition entries the number of unique titles is over 40,000. 
- MobyGames database stats. Retrieved from MobyGames 2012-11-21.
- "Report: MobyGames Acquired By GameFly Media". Gamasutra. 2011-07-02.
- "The 25 Greatest Games of All Time" list from MobyGames
- "2006 Webby Nominees, Games-Related category". Webbyawards.com. 2011-10-28. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- such as Green Berets based on Myth II, included with package
- compare various programs called "idle games" of little to none interactivity 
Further reading 
- 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