Some of you eagle-eyed MobyGames users may have noticed newly added games, for example Song Of The Deep, which are using the Steam (or PSN) Store description instead of a user-created description.
This is part of a Beta feature we're currently testing, allowing all users to add a game entry by augmenting the existing entry page for a game on a digital store. It will import release/platform information, digital covers and promo screenshots, and 'Ad Blurb' (the Store description), and is an extension of our successful screenshot grabbing feature which has added over 100,000 images to the site.
Having done this, you can (optionally) skip the 'description' stage of the entry - this will be particularly helpful for those who don't have English as a first language, but want to add entries from existing stores. (We still allow people to add a user description later, and are definitely encouraging people to write them where they can add info & value, though.)
The initial stores to be supported are the U.S. Steam store (Win/Mac/Linux), U.S. PlayStation Store (PS4/PS3/Vita), and Apple Store (iOS). If you'd like to Beta test this feature before its official rollout, please PM me - and thanks to Tracy Poff and our contributors for their hard work on it already!
This means you can now easily find - in real-time - which games are missing that info. This is particularly helpful for platforms like iOS and Android, where we also have the 'scraper' tool. Enter an App Store or Google Play URL in the 'contribute... promo images' section & it'll grab the screenshots/promo art for you! Anyone want to go on an adding spree?
Once again, thanks so much for supporting us! In 2017, expect us to start getting more up to speed on new digital (mobile, PC/Mac, console) releases with a new 'entry scraper' that is in approver-only Beta right now. And we're very early on working on a complete code rewrite of MobyGames - don't expect it soon, but we're excited to eventually (hopefully!) get off of this 1999-era codebase and onto something that looks better and is more flexible for all of us. Happy 2017!
January 2016 - January 2015 - January 2014 - January 2013 - January 2012 - January 2011 - January 2010 - January 2009
(Click to enlarge)
An explanation: each coloured shape in the graph represents a platform. The horizontal axis is time. The vertical axis represents the number of games released. So the height of a shape on a given point in time indicates the number of games released for that platform that year. The total height of the graph on a given point in time shows the total releases that year.
[All data taken from MobyGames. Of course, the graph is only as complete as our database is - meaning we currently undercount some new digital game platforms like PC/Mac, digital console, and iOS/Android since we don't 'scrape' those databases automatically - and the dropoff in 2015 and 2016 is because we're still entering newer games into the database. Come help us if you can!]
Just wanted to update on some of the large strides we've made with 'promo images' (in this case, official screenshots) in recent weeks, thanks to FireFang9212 (on PlayStation platforms) and Maner76 (for Nintendo platforms!)
Recently, FireFang9212 has been going backwards through the PS3 releases we have adding promotional images from PlayStation.com. This is easier now that we support 'vanilla' PlayStation.com game page URLs in addition to PlayStation Store pages. He's doing a great job, having added almost 7500 images in the past few weeks, yay. In many cases these database entries had no screenshots at all, so it's a major win.
Additionally, Maner76 has been doing similarly for Nintendo DS games, and has got over 2500 images added, which is an amazing total - again including many games that were completely lacking in-game visuals in our system until now.
If anyone would like to help them out, we're looking for people to tackle PSP, PS Vita or PS4 entries systematically by going alphabetically through and putting PlayStation.com URLs in to our easy 'scraping' system for each game. If anyone wants to add Wii/Wii U & 3DS promo images, we could also do with some help there - although some scraping has occurred for some of the above platforms.
Just mention it in the thread attached to this news, and work methodically, so we don't step on each other! And for games we don't have in our database at all, look for a scraping-related announcement/advancement on this soon. (Also, we just added the ability to scrape JP.PlayStation.com URLs, if anyone would like to help on Japanese-only titles or if screenshots differ on the Japanese version of PlayStation.com.)
[Side note: we need more Featured Games of all kinds, btw, submit some if you have a chance.]
This means any user (including you!) now has the ability to auto-scrape from Steam, PlayStation Store, PlayStation.com, Steam, iOS Store, Google Play Store, and Nintendo eShop for promotional screenshots on any existing game entry. Just go to the entry, hit 'Contribute' and choose 'Promo Art' and it'll give you example URLs to enter.
It's our impression that Steam (for existing games in our DB!) has been fairly well-scraped by our users already. But Nintendo eShop and PlayStation Store/PlayStation.com still have lots of work to be done, so if anyone would like to help out, then we'd really appreciate it!
(In the longer-term, we'll be working on auto-scraping entries we don't have in the DB at all yet, with your help, but that's not for a few months!)
Although a lot of MobyGames' history of archiving images has been around scanning in items (like covers!), it's also important to grab and make accessible newer digital art. Which is why we'd like to highlight & praise Infernos' work grabbing 'fansite kits' and wallpaper.
Particularly popular in the early to mid 2000s, 'fansite kits' (for example, Driver: Parallel Lines, Far Cry 2, & Grabbed By The Ghoulies) were sets of screenshots, concept art & icons/avatars that were downloadable from game websites to be used by fans. And many of those links are now broken. Infernos is grabbing ZIPs of them off third-party filehosting sites - plus getting 'lost' wallpaper via the Wayback Machine - and archiving them on MobyGames, so they can easily be found, referenced, and available via image search link.
Go check out some of his recently added promo images, and reminder - with these promo sets, you can always click on an image to get its original hi-res version!
As an example, you can see on the 'promo images' page for Mechanic Master that there's a new dialog box. Just hit the 'Contribute' button on any game page and add images and they will be added automatically, and you'll need to click through to submit them.
There are a few issues/exceptions - particularly around differences in regional Steam stores & with age gates for some of the stores, and we only grab from profiles with images, but it works in general. (Approvers working on the system early have submitted a LOT of the Steam releases in the DB already, but other stores - especially the Nintendo eShop - have been added to less, so check those out!)
[One other long-needed change that rolled out with this code update - you are now required to provide another URL as proof when you submit most item types that aren't 'scraped'. This helps us make sure the info is accurate, thanks! And thanks to Tracy Poff for all this coding work as per usual.]
He joined us only back in 2010, so to be the 9th person in the history of the site to make it to 100k is SUPER impressive. He's also getting closer and closer to his goal: "Trying to add all commercial Polish video games to MobyGames' database." (While doing a bunch of extra approvals and work along the way!) Thanks again to him...
Many of these are automagically 'scraped' from major stores (Steam, iOS, Google Play, etc!), which is still important since these screenshots change and sometimes disappear over time. But a large number are also grabbed from other sources, like '90s FTP sites or even press CD-ROMs. And MobyGames' high Google ranking means the images often get prominently displayed for Internet users to check out and use. So... great work, all contributors who made this happen!
(We're planning more ability to contribute other types of images to MobyGames soon, including a way to add magazine advertisements, so watch out for an announcement on that!)