Atari has acquired MobyGames, the user-driven video game database for a cool $1.5 million deal, news confirmed last week by the company.
Originally launched back in 1999 and supported by users ever since, the database has grown to over 300,000 unique games and even supportive information with key development staff.
The news that Atari has acquired MobyGames comes alongside the resurging publisher also confirming they’ve invested $500,000 into the retro-themed streaming platform Antstream Arcade, with a potential to invest up to $3.5 million later.
MobyGames lets users upload summaries, box art, screenshots, and even information for developers – which are then verified by fact checkers that volunteer their time. The main difference between MobyGames and another user-driven database like Wikipedia is that MobyGames is for profit, and runs display advertisements.
With the focus on profit to keep the site running, there have been concerns over conflicts of interest, also combined with the fact that MobyGames has changed hands with various owners over the years.
MobyGames was originally acquired by Gamefly Media – of the same aged “Netflix of games” company – way back in 2011. This was followed by a redesign of their site in 2013, which largely impacted the overall functionality of the site, and angered their users.
Later, MobyGames was then acquired by BlueFlame Labs, who then implemented a more curator-like approach to their data generation, which also undid a bunch of Gamefly’s changes and let it run more like it had since the beginning.