Forums > MobyGames > An amendment to "1.2.1 Main Title" chapter of MobyGames Standards

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gbcat (11587) on 1/6/2022 8:40 AM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

Existing standards state that "Titles should match the cover art as close as possible". Unfortunately, this rule has caused confusions when the title printed on the game cover is not strictly identical to the title on the game's official websites, such as Call of Duty: MW3 which is called "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" on most English websites (source: Xbox, Steam) and Tantei Jingūji Saburō: Series No.9 - Kind of Blue which is called "Tantei Jingūji Saburō: Kind of Blue" on PlayStation websites (source: PS2, PS2 Classics for PS3).

This problem may not cause too much inconvenience for an ordinary retail game like Kind of Blue. But for a modern downloadable game like Modern Warfare 3, it has already caused some strange phenomena:

  1. Both "MW3" and "Modern Warfare 3" are used in MobyGames. See Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Ultimate Edition
  2. It causes unnecessary isolation between MobyGames and other webpages, especially for DLCs which definitely have webpages for purchasing them. for instance, Call of Duty: MW3 - Collection 1is called "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 1" instead of "MW3" on Steam.
Therefore, this rule should be changed like this:

  1. The title on the game's selling webpages held by distributing platforms such as Steam, GOG, UPlay, Origin, Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation, App Store and Google Play is the closest title used by we game players for searching and purchasing the game and thus should be used preferentially.
  2. If the game was not released on any mega platforms, the title on the game's official website should be used. (I wanna curse Activision about this point since it used "MW3" on nowhere other than their official website)
  3. If there is no authoritative website about the game, it is the time to find out the title from cover arts. Note that not only front cover, but also other covers should be taken into accounts since game title may be mentioned in ad blurbs and feedback postcards.
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lights out party (68692) on 3/31/2022 8:52 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

The "cover title is main title" rule is indeed terrible, for many reasons. Covers frequently stylize titles in weird ways, including reordering words, removing or adding spaces, or replacing letters or words with images. Cover titles are as often also shortened for space reasons, especially for digital covers where space is limited; or it can make distinguishing betwen what is a subtitle vs a tag-line tricky.

I don't think, however, that arbitrarily choosing a single other title location, such as website, is any better.
In most cases it's really not rocket science figuring out what the "indended" title is if you put together various title uses (including cover, website, spine/media if physical, description text, legal fine print etc). Any single use might deviate for whatever reason, but with a big enough sample size it's often clear what is the exception vs the intention (and also a lot easier to describe).