I would like to add a more editorial content to MobyGames. It is a secret little belief of mine that MobyGames became an user contributed website mostly from the fact that Brian doesn't like to write. He could focus on engineering and people with the skill and inclination could write the reviews, game descriptions and the like. Even though I am somehow the voice of MobyGames News deep down inside I am no better.
Ron and I attended the Austin Game Conference partly to promote MobyGames ( me ) and partly to cover the event ( Ron ). Between manning the booth and taking meetings we didn't manage on providing a huge amount of editorial coverage. Not so for MMORPG.com.
AGC is know for its MMO and Casual Games focus and the crew MMORPG.com seemed to be everywhere from, Moving Beyond Men in Tights, Raph Koster's "The Age of Dinosaurs" to Third Party Community Websites and Creating Characters for Games. I was especially disappointed to miss the Third Party Community Websites panel which was a discussion on how publishers and fan and news websites work and sometimes do not work together to cover the industry.
The MMORPG coverage was very blog like and laced with opinions, facts and some reasoned and ... well ... not so reasoned analysis. Even the relative inexperience and naiveté in some of the posts I found a bit refreshing.
"Well, it is all over. I can no longer say that I have never covered a video game conference."
I remember my first game conference in 1999. Should MobyGames continue to provide "editorial" content? What should we do differently?
You must remember that MG is a database, not a real news site per se. We throw in the news and the features articles by allowing users to contrubute those themselves. In the MG faq it even says "we're not a news site."
I wouldn't worry about downsizing editorail content, its fine as it is. We could use some more articles every so often but that just depends upon the users I guess.
Yeah, I really don't think it is necessary to increase the editorial content on the site. However, if you have some specific ideas and provide an example of how you'd like to see it work, maybe it would change my mind if it looks useful. For now, I just don't see the need.
I think what MobyGames does best is being an historical gaming database. News or event coverage is something way too ephemeral - it is only worthy at the time of the event. The current entries on MobyGames, on the other hand, are timeless.
I think focus is very important if you want to reach an ambitious goal. And adding every game ever released to the database is an ambitious goal, to say the least. News and event coverage, though they might keep users coming every day to read the posts, are unnecessary distractions to the main goal of the site.
Agreed, a database is a database.
Though it would be pretty cool to be able to become writers for an exclusive site. I can imagine the partner to MobyGames: MobyPlayer.
I'll keep the patent documents at hand in case you need em. ;-)
I suppose I would have to parrot what a lot of replies on this post are already saying: Mobygames is a database not a news site. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have editorials (read: featured articles), because I've enjoyed some of the stuff written there already and I believe it's just as important to users. However what I don't think we should have a focus on is news. The forum and the submission for it are here on the site, but I hope that nobody's depending on us for the latest headlines and reporting... because that's not what Mobygames is about. As I've said to a friend of mine, in regards to "new games" on MG: "Hey, some of us are still trying to catch up to 1984 here!".
Again, I like the editorial that I've seen so far. But I think it's a mistake to write a lot of it on "upcoming" or "just released" topics. On the other hand, stuff like the history of Interactive Fiction or a look back at Sega better fits the "historical" context that most of Mobygames tries to be about. Stuff like the previous GDC article is "interesting", because it's a Mobygames presence at the event... but I don't think we'll ever be doing the same as MMORPG.com and actually trying to report everything. I would say that if that's where a user's focus lies, maybe they should begin contributing their "scoops" to a dedicated news site, where the strength will be in the reporting.
On the other hand, sometimes I think that much of the MG staff (especially me) just need to go register blogs and link them on their user profiles in order to rant about whatever game has caught their eye or whatever the neatest looking trailer on next-gen systems is.