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Getting to know MobyGames

Игги Друге (43626) on Sep 13, 2013


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So, after an eventless year, we have a re-design of the site where very little works and what little actually works has limited functionality compared to the old design. And it was pushed out on the live server without testing, and what little testing was done by the approvers six months ago was simply ignored.

Well, it's hardly news if you've used MobyGames for some time. Read these threads to refresh your memory:

In the summer of 2010, there is user and approver unrest due to the uncommunicative and secretive nature of the administration. One brave admin, Sciere, writes an open letter to the MobyGames founders.

A month later, there is a reply, where the founders promise to be more democratic, more communicative and to speed up the bug-fixing and development of the site.

In december that same year, a mysterious logo appears in the footer of MobyGames, first noticed only by a few users. A mail to the company in the logo, GamesFly, reveals that it has bought MobyGames from its finders for an undisclosed sum. Adding insult to injury, the sale was made no later than a month after the reply to the open letter where the founders had pledged to be more open. Instead, the sale of information contributed by thousands of users to a different company has been kept secret for months.

The former owners, now rich GamesFly employees, go on to claim that the sale will give MobyGames the resources needed to modernise the site. Instead, MobyGames' sole developer is put onto other GamesFly projects, leaving the site in an abandoned state for three years – until this disaster of a redesign is launched in an untested state, as usual without taking into account opinions and bug reports of approvers.

Ask yourself: Is this the kind of company you want to do volunteer work for?

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Indra is here (19707) on Sep 13, 2013


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Must be that time of year if Iggy starts whining again on the forums. Whoopeee!

I vaguely remember a time when meine efforts to rally the approvers to negotiate a balancing power of negotiation for improvement (only as a last resort) was met with "meh, it'll hurt the site".

Does anyone listen to me? Noooooooo.... Yes, history. You know who you all are. Bite me.

P.S. Oops, I reported you too Iggy. Stupid link placement. That's the second time I did this. -_-

Oh, the drama. Fortunately, due to constant soap operaa repetition of the same old stuff throughout the years, I'm proud to say I no longer give a flying fak anymore.

(Edited by Indra is here (19707), Sep 13, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Ƒreddƴ (5650) on Sep 13, 2013


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Игги Друге Wrote:
One brave admin, Sciere



Has anyone heard anything from Sciere since the redesign?

PS. anybody at least appreciate the irony of it being launched near 9/11?

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Indra is here (19707) on Sep 13, 2013


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He's too dignified to get involved in this mess. Nothing he or anyone can do about it either at this phase of the MG timeline anyway.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Patrick Bregger (110945) on Sep 13, 2013


He posted this morning in the approvers' forum. The website did not work at all for him since the relaunch because of a browser plugin.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Rola (7132) on Sep 13, 2013


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(moved to another thread - delete this)

(Edited by Rola (7132), Sep 13, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

אולג 小奥 (169089) on Sep 13, 2013


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Ask yourself: Is this the kind of company you want to do volunteer work for?.

Hell no. I kept contributing and approving after the sellout because I was hoping they would just let the site run by itself without interfering, letting Sciere and other guys manage it the way everyone want it to be managed.

But now, after this horrid, buggy, miserable excuse for a design removes features, removes things we have worked hard on to contribute, I feel deeply insulted, and I retire.

Everyone hate this awful re-design. Everyone hate how GameFly treats us. Forums on other websites are ridiculing us right now - and no one can blame them! So why do we keep doing that? Why do we keep working for them even after they spit in our faces?

Why don't we begin with a simple ultimatum: no contributions, no approvals until they bring the old site back. As simple as that. If all of us agree to do that, they will have no choice.

The only hope is in a collective boycott. If we don't do that, nobody will give a fuck, ever.

Edit: I know someone is sending me PMs, but I can't see them. It's that buggy.

(Edited by אולג 小奥 (169089), Sep 13, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Indra is here (19707) on Sep 13, 2013


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אולג 小奥 Wrote:
Why don't we begin with a simple ultimatum: no contributions, no approvals until they bring the old site back. As simple as that. If all of us agree to do that, they will have no choice.

Proposed and ignored. Two years ago.

Exact text:

"I can't speak for all, but I'm not stopping.

I strongly disagree with the attitude of those who stopped approving. I think it's the worst possible reaction to the news.

But it's their right. I mean, it's not that they have to approve. They are volunteers. If they want to stop, let them stop. It damages the site, sure, but there is nothing we can do. I hope there are still some approvers who continue, that's all.

Those who would like to help the site and approve, please don't hesitate. The approval situation is visibly worse than before. The PC queue in particular is flooded. With both Indra and Cantillon "on strike", it's going to be a complete disaster."

But does anyone ever listen to me? Noooooo. :p

(Edited by Indra is here (19707), Sep 13, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

GTramp (34474) on Sep 13, 2013


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Chances are those responsible are not looking at this forum, or maybe even unaware of it. So perhaps putting contributions on hold for now is the best option to make them see something's wrong.

(Edited by GTramp (34474), Sep 13, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Terok Nor (18455) on Sep 13, 2013


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I won't contribute nor approve for now simply because I'm afraid of breaking things, with all those bugs...

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Daniel Saner (2473) on Sep 14, 2013


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Same here, with all the bugs that have been reported so far, I deem the risk that any efford I'd put into a contribution would be lost anyway, much too high.

It's not like the lack of my measly contributions would make a dent, but as it is I'm with you on halting things for now. It's volunteer work and we have fun doing it, but it's still work, any any company who wants to profit from that has to show a basic level of respect and dedication in return.

Otherwise, I'm just going to upscale the plans for my own database and make it more contribution-based than I intended =P (it would be CC-licensed, first and foremost).

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Cavalary (5361) on Sep 13, 2013


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Way ahead of you on the no submissions part. Granted, hadn't made any this month since I'm all caught up in the protests here (and today I should finish a post on days 6-12... most probably won't happen, but maybe at least 6-10 and post like that), but after this, definitely not going to restart even if I'll have the time. Actually meant to suggest this right away, but didn't want little me to appear too radical here, good thing to have the big names say it.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

vileyn0id_8088 (9549) on Sep 13, 2013


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אולג 小奥 Wrote:
Why don't we begin with a simple ultimatum: no contributions, no approvals until they bring the old site back. As simple as that. If all of us agree to do that, they will have no choice.

The only hope is in a collective boycott. If we don't do that, nobody will give a fuck, ever.

Would the powers that be at Gee-Eff even notice or care? Their level of interest in this site has always been through the floor; and on the off chance that they do notice, they could just hire a bunch of random monkeys to create and approve ridiculous, low-quality submissions of new AAA titles to keep those ad revenues coming.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

אולג 小奥 (169089) on Sep 14, 2013


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Uh-oh. That's a "conspiracy theory" I already heard from someone else.

I know it may sound stupid, but what if GameFly did this on purpose?

They pushed out a shitty re-design to drive us away. After we are gone, they'll do exactly what you said and get what they wanted all along - another stupid "new AAA games only" site with ad blurbs instead of descriptions, etc.

Horrifying, isn't it?

My belief in humanity makes me hope they can't possibly be so evil. But maybe I'm not cynical enough.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Cavalary (5361) on Sep 14, 2013


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Belief in humanity? What's that? Those who do this (well, infinitely worse, but sticking to the example at hand) are humanity, the rest of us are very rare exceptions.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

András Gregorik (65) on Sep 14, 2013


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With only 1200 facebook likes and not too many daily hits, I think Moby is the lowest priority site on the GameFly roster. Their treatment of it certainly suggests so. They focus on their other acquisitions: Shacknews, Fileshack and Direct2Drive instead.

I don't think they're trying to "drive us away", they simply do not care.

Yes, GameFly is certainly evil in the sense that it can coldly dismantle a thriving game community out of indifference and avarice.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Daniel Saner (2473) on Sep 14, 2013


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The other avenue would have been to change something about the few likes and hits, and turn the site into something more people want to visit. That would have required juts a tiny bit more commitment than what happened. I don't mean that sarcastically at all, it would have taken very little indeed. MobyGames was and is a community-driven project, and all they'd have to do is to give said community the impression that their work is welcome and respected.

I don't believe the conspiracy theories either, there would be a dozen simpler, quicker ways to get rid of a site or turn it into a revenue-optimised empty hull. It's not conspiratory or evil, just half-assed.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

vedder (20153) on Sep 13, 2013


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I stopped being an approver about a year ago to make room for other things in my life, cause much as I loved working with MobyGames it was becoming a major time sink that got in the way of other things.

Now I'm especially glad that I did, as the years of work I put into this site (still insignificant to some of the long timer contributors here) seems like to have been in vain at this point as the site is just in a broken state. Even as a static historical archive the old site would have been better.

I'm still cautiously optimistic about the redesign in that I believe that it can be fixed and turned into something nice. It's just that the incredibly broken state in which it is launched shows me that whoever whose decision it was to launch it, absolutely has no love for the site, has never used it and doesn't mind seeing it crash and burn.

Fixing the site at this point, would be possible with sufficient resources (such as skilled designers and web programmers), but the last five or more years have proven that there's never really such a thing available for MobyGames.

Unless things are fixed quickly, I don't see much point in hanging around here much any more. I'll miss the forums though. It's always been nice to talk to people passionate about gaming history.

At this point I feel a bit in limbo. I'll have to wait and see. But waiting and seeing never amounted to much in the last 5 years. So that's a rather depressing thought.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Fred VT (22316) on Sep 13, 2013


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Too bad, I wanted to get my 10000 points XD But you are right, for now we should show our discontentment in some way or another. I"m suggesting a positive approach: maybe some of us can give suggestions for a better design? Like hold a contest-like event among ourselves to see who comes up with the best way to deal with the current state of things...

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

GTramp (34474) on Sep 13, 2013


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Fred VT Wrote:
Like hold a contest-like event among ourselves to see who comes up with the best way to deal with the current state of things...

What's the point of this? None of those guys responsible seem to read the forum.

(Edited by GTramp (34474), Sep 13, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Fred VT (22316) on Sep 13, 2013


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No, but Corn Popper does, and he could bring our ideas to those guys. I know it's a long shot, but if we want to try something that could actually benefit MG while not contributing/approving. Because those who will get back to doing that or continue doing so will need the best tools. They'll be stuck with bigger queues and even less staff, etc.

(Edited by Fred VT (22316), Sep 13, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Sciere (252188) on Sep 13, 2013


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I have no pull at all with any of this. I don't know anything more than any other approver here.

(Edited by Sciere (252188), Sep 13, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Fred VT (22316) on Sep 13, 2013


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Sciere Wrote:
I have no pull at all with any of this. I don't know anything more than any other approver here.



I removed your name from there then :P

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Parf (7315) on Sep 14, 2013


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This is like Discogs all over again. Sad face. :(

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Corn Popper (69643) on Sep 14, 2013


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They are aware and things are slowly getting fixed. There was and update pushed out already

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

vedder (20153) on Sep 14, 2013


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I'm glad to notice a couple improvements in the forums at least.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

אולג 小奥 (169089) on Sep 14, 2013


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The first thing to do here, before anything else - just as in any case when a person does something unethical and shameful - is to apologize to those who were wronged.

"Dear MobyGames community. We are deeply sorry for ruining the website you worked hard to build. We assure you that it was not done intentionally and maliciously, but out of sheer stupidity and lack of giving a fuck. We will punish those responsible accordingly and will restore the site's full functionality and bring back all the features right away. Please forgive us".

Just an example of the kind of treatment people here would surely appreciate.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Cavalary (5361) on Sep 14, 2013


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That attitude should have started back before the (secret at the time) sale if anyone had any shred of it anywhere, as in "Look, we no longer have the time to handle the site, the funds are a problem too now that the crisis started, so we'll keep it up for a few more months during which time we'll see if anyone, starting from you dedicated members of our community, wants to pick it up on strict conditions of not breaking anything or removing any information, maintaining the site's relevance, neutrality and mission, and making the improvements we are no longer able to make. If that does not happen, we will unfortunately have to close MobyGames in the current form, but we will make the complete database, including images, and the source code, available to the user admins and a few other long-time trusted members, so nothing will be lost and MobyGames may be resurrected at the earliest opportunity." instead of probably "Oh, right, now that you caught us, yeah, a while back we decided to just secretly sell you out to some corporation, after hardly being around for the past two years anyway. They'll do what they want with you, if in a few years they'll remember that you still exist, don't complain to us because we just took the money and dropped any responsibility. No hurt feelings, right?"

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Daniel Saner (2473) on Sep 14, 2013


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I have an inkling of hope that when selling MobyGames, the founders had the sense to insist on a clause that would at least protect the contributed information from getting lost if the new owner ever decided to shut down operations. Such as releasing the database back to the founders. Even if they're not really involved in the site anymore, I'd like to think they still care about the project they started, and that they had the sense to think of the future of the data collected over an incredible number of volunteer man-hours.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Terok Nor (18455) on Sep 14, 2013


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I asked about such a clause specifically, back when the sale happened. Never got an answer.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Indra is here (19707) on Sep 14, 2013


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Cavalary Wrote:
That attitude should have started back before the (secret at the time) sale if anyone had any shred of it anywhere, as in

"Look, we no longer have the time to handle the site, the funds are a problem too now that the crisis started, so we'll keep it up for a few more months during which time we'll see if anyone, starting from you dedicated members of our community, wants to pick it up on strict conditions of not breaking anything or removing any information, maintaining the site's relevance, neutrality and mission, and making the improvements we are no longer able to make. If that does not happen, we will unfortunately have to close MobyGames in the current form, but we will make the complete database, including images, and the source code, available to the user admins and a few other long-time trusted members, so nothing will be lost and MobyGames may be resurrected at the earliest opportunity."

Instead of probably "Oh, right, now that you caught us, yeah, a while back we decided to just secretly sell you out to some corporation, after hardly being around for the past two years anyway. They'll do what they want with you, if in a few years they'll remember that you still exist, don't complain to us because we just took the money and dropped any responsibility. No hurt feelings, right?"

Right. Any responsible business enterprise on the internet knows the importance of public relations, not to mention this is a freakin community project. If you can't even get that right, 'incompetence' isn't even the word I'm looking for right now.

But everyone knows this already.

Though on the other hand, it perhaps is just an indication that the 'community' isn't just a valued commodity within this enterprise. Which, makes all these actions thus far, makes perfect sense. Because if we were in a relevant factor in negotiations, we would have at least been informed beforehand, instead of researching ourselves what the hell was going on.

Hey, why am I even ranting? I don't even care anymore.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

vedder (20153) on Sep 14, 2013


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Indra is here Wrote:
Any responsible business enterprise on the internet knows the importance of public relations



Of all the business enterprises on the Internet; the ones that succeeded with public relations in a positive and meaningful way can to this day still be counted on one hand.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Indra is here (19707) on Sep 15, 2013


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vedder Wrote:
Indra is here Wrote:
Any responsible business enterprise on the internet knows the importance of public relations



Of all the business enterprises on the Internet; the ones that succeeded with public relations in a positive and meaningful way can to this day still be counted on one hand.

Yet they all still have to apologize. They don't have to. I wonder why they do it?

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Max Tikhonov (949) on Sep 15, 2013


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Corn Popper Wrote:
They are aware and things are slowly getting fixed. There was and update pushed out already

Man, your updates worth ass shit. Nothing people (more valuable to this resource than you) mention in their feedback is fixed.

(Edited by Max Tikhonov (949), Sep 15, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

אולג 小奥 (169089) on Sep 15, 2013


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He can't hear you. Sometimes I begin to wonder: his ultra-dry, never-to-the-point replies seem like something spouted out by a random generator. Maybe the real Rob Lim was replaced with a bot when GameFly acquired him.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Picard (29343) on Sep 16, 2013


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too much text, lol.have to read it later.But this new site is horrible.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

*Katakis* (37810) on Sep 18, 2013


Corn Popper Wrote:
They are aware and things are slowly getting fixed. There was and update pushed out already



Then why isn't there a news item about said update? Oh yeah, the site is still broken.

Does the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mean anything to you?

(Edited by *Katakis* (37810), Sep 18, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Rola (7132) on Sep 18, 2013


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I didn't mind the old layout, although it required updates here and there. I wouldn't mind a redesign provided it would introduce requested enhancements (like improved search options). So far I don't see things added, only features removed/broken.

It wouldn't be so bad if that broken release was a fault of an enthusiast, who was too optimistic about his hobby project and had launched it prematurely. We'd point the bugs and then we'd see nightly updates with hotfixes, day by day, until the functionality got restored. Here we have a company hired webdeveloper, who doesn't care about the site, and who barely fixed what he broke - and what took him months.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

MrFlibble (3378) on Sep 19, 2013


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Rola Wrote:
Here we have a company hired webdeveloper, who doesn't care about the site, and who barely fixed what he broke - and what took him months.

BTW, why doesn't the person(s) who actually works on the new design come here and talk to the community? The heads of GF certainly don't have to do it, but communicating with the end-user via a third party can't be good for someone directly responsible for website design.

If that person, as a qualified specialist in web design, makes choices about what, how and where should be working, maybe they could be wooed to restore all functionality and change the new layout into something as close to the old site as possible?

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Cavalary (5361) on Sep 19, 2013


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Highly doubt it's that person's call. They were hired to make a cash crop fitting whatever idiotic things higher ups at corporations say needs to be pushed down people's throats and that's what they'll do.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

MrFlibble (3378) on Sep 19, 2013


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Still, it would not be entirely unreasonable to ask for direct contact with that person/people IMO. After all, such functionality as the contribution system and the forums really concern only the community, not just the hypothetical average user who browses the site.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Fred VT (22316) on Sep 19, 2013


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MrFlibble Wrote:
Still, it would not be entirely unreasonable to ask for direct contact with that person/people IMO. After all, such functionality as the contribution system and the forums really concern only the community, not just the hypothetical average user who browses the site.



I agree that direct contact would not only give us a bit of trust back, but probably make that person's job easier...

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Cavalary (5361) on Sep 19, 2013


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Well, don't know about you, but regaining my trust wasn't an option even before this. (Then again, I'm here since the end of 2009, so can't say that the founders ever gained mine in the first place.)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Karsa Orlong (59502) on Sep 24, 2013


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Anyone knows where to find - add product codes?

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Cavalary (5361) on Sep 24, 2013


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To find them, under release info. To submit them, no idea, if I click anything scripted, which includes the add button or the logo, nothing happens anymore (IE10).

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Parf (7315) on Sep 24, 2013


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I'm just surprised you're even bothered to try anymore erav...

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Ƒreddƴ (5650) on Sep 24, 2013


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Parf Wrote:
I'm just surprised you're even bothered to try anymore erav...



He's going for that top spot

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Karsa Orlong (59502) on Sep 25, 2013


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No, that's no matters. 2013 is no contest year.

(Edited by Karsa Orlong (59502), Sep 25, 2013)

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Karsa Orlong (59502) on Sep 25, 2013


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I have some stuff remaining on my HDD. I just want to get rid of everything and as I had already placed the majority on MobyGames, I decided to finish it (at best this year). If this will be impossible within few weeks I will just delete these materials or ship to someone else to handle. I do not like to leave unresolved issues.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Ƒreddƴ (5650) on Sep 25, 2013


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Karsa Orlong Wrote:
I have some stuff remaining on my HDD. I just want to get rid of everything and as I had already placed the majority on MobyGames, I decided to finish it (at best this year). If this will be impossible within few weeks I will just delete these materials or ship to someone else to handle. I do not like to leave unresolved issues.



For this whole boycott thing to work and for us to stand any chance of getting back the old working site we need a united front. It is a most unfortunate situation and you owe us nothing but out of respect for your fellow Moby gamers, can you put your contributions on hold for a while? lets say around 10/10? since if nothing has changed by then its fair to assume our plan has failed.

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Karsa Orlong (59502) on Sep 25, 2013


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Not a big deal for me. I need 6 weeks day by day to add all I had planned, so basically I can wait till the end on October if that's really matters.
Anyway I quess - looking for profiles of those who started the boycott - it's already over. The boycott failed (old moby won't be back) as Oleg had predicted, top contributors/admins/approvers left and this won't change at any point. Even if GF will fix the major bugs, there are still lost features of old mobygames - these won't return. I'm pretty sure MG will change profile to Wiki alike page (at best scenario) or will be closed as no profitable site (no hits - no income). Can't see any other option. The community is dead and won't be resurrected as it was lead by top contributors who are gone for good (what is completely understandable). The only question we do not know the answer yet - will the MG database survive...

Re: Getting to know MobyGames

Cavalary (5361) on Sep 25, 2013


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Oh, there will be hits for a long time to come, just for the existing data. Not that many come here for new releases.