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MobyGames purchased from GameFly, improvements planned

MobyGames was purchased from GameFly by Blue Flame Labs LLC earlier this month with the intention to bring improvements across the board to the gaming resource website, according to a forum post.

In the post, Blue Flame Labs founder Reed Lakefield noted that MobyGames has had its 1990s look restored — the first of many planned changes. According to Lakefield, tweaks and bug fixes will be made based on community feedback and MobyGames' new management is open and eager for suggestions, calling the redesign a "community effort." Lakefield is joined by investor Simon Carless, who oversees planning for the annual Game Developers Conference and works for Gamasutra; Lakefield noted Carless will help curate the website in his spare time.

"The goal is to give the site some much-needed love and attention," Lakefield wrote. "MobyGames has long been an authoritative source for the games industry and we want to make sure it continues to be exactly that. The redesign a few months ago did not go well, as you know, so the very first course of action is to reverse that. Going forward we'll continue to improve things along with your input. I sincerely hope that those of who you have left recently will come back. We need you."

In a post on his personal blog, Carless wrote that for the short-term he is assisting MobyGames' transition away from GameFly, as well as helping to stabilize the site's codebase and looking into licensing the database so its contents can't be lost.

"I've been interested in working with MobyGames for 10-plus years, but the timing was never quite right," Carless wrote. "While UBM Tech looked at licensing MobyGames data in recent years, it became clear that wasn't a biz direction that made sense for the dayjob. (Partly, it was my self-realization that I just wanted the data to be ‘safe', and I shouldn't try to shoehorn that into a business justification!)

"Luckily, when GameFly senior vice president Saujin Yi — who I'd had multiple previous discussions with — came to me asking who might be interested in carrying on the MobyGames torch, I was able to connect her with Reed at Blue Flame Labs," he added. "He's had a significant history of working designing/coding great database-based websites. And as an ex-dev like me, understands the value of preserving our history (credits, screenshots, box art, and more) in a centralized, well-moderated database."

Looking forward, Carless said he is looking into creating an "unofficial credits" section for developers who do not appear in their game's credits or for games that did no have credits. This is just one of the "many exciting opportunities" Carless writes he is working on for MobyGames.

GameFly purchased MobyGames in 2010. The first major change came earlier this fall in the form of a total site redesign.

Those with suggestions for MobyGames' new management can post suggestions in this thread.

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