Atari, or at least the company that currently owns the rights to use that nameannounced earlier th is week that it had spent $1.5 million on the purchase MobyGames
Founded in 1999, the site is essentially a massive database of video game credits and is the closest thing the industry has to a centralized credit registry since publishers themselves are so notoriously bad at keeping track of such things. It’s also, very quietly, a great collection of high quality screenshots for retro/pixel art video games.
Originally created by three high school friends (Jim Leonard, Brian Hirt, and David Berk), this isn’t the first time the site has been sold; It controversially changed hands in 2010 when GameFly bought it and redesigned the entire site before being bought again in 2013 by Jeremiah Freyholtz, who quickly reverted most of these unpopular changes. Since then, Freyholtz has been running the site together with Simon Carless.
While people are understandably skeptical about the sale, both Atari and Freyholtz have said the right things so far:
“The MobyGames community has played a sustained and important role in the documentation, celebration and preservation of video games, and supporting MobyGames allows us to give back to the community and contribute to its growth and success,” said Wade Rosen, CEO of Atari. “It is important to Atari that MobyGames maintains its full integrity and we are committed to supporting the site in a way that improves the experience for both contributors and users.”
“In Atari, MobyGames has found a partner that will provide the investment and support we need to complete long-planned website improvements,” said Jeremiah Freyholtz, General Manager of MobyGames. “I am confident that this transition will allow MobyGames to remain an important community-driven project and that Atari’s involvement best positions us for long-term stability and success.”
Atari’s acquisition announcement states that Freyholtz “will remain in his role as general manager.”