The Future of this Site

14 Aug 2017 17:01

The Future of this Site?

A history of the Crane & Dragon PBBG list, the term PBBG, and what lies ahead.

I'm afraid that for the most part, the usage of the term "PBBG" has come and gone. It used to be a common reference but these days the line between an application based MMO versus a browser based PBBG is blurry. This is due in part to the rise of all things mobile. It is true that there is still a distinction, but it is also true that gamers are thinking less about those distinctions, even if developers still embrace the differences.

My First Wikidot Site

My little pbbg site was the first wikidot site I built, back in 2007. Fast forward to 2017, and now I've built… (digging through my portfolio) 74 wikidot sites and 44 are still running. Despite a decline in popularity, I have not been able to bring myself to delete the site and as you can see, I very rarely update it. The last big PBBG I was promoting was Albion Online, until the developers over at Sandbox Interactive quietly decided that it would no longer be a browser based MMO, this of course was after lots of supporters had pre-paid for the game and after that, I was kind of over it. This was a couple of years back.

PBBG History

In 2007, there was a lot of discussion about how to classify browser based MMO's, most of this took place on the old onrpg.com website which was, back then, a haven for budding developers connecting with other developers, as well as gamers. The name I was suggesting was "PBRBG" which stood for "Persistent Browser Based RPG". This site reflected that with the URL bprpg.wikidot.com, which I have since then changed. Another contender with his own idea for a naming convention coined the acronym "PBBG" and bought the domain pbbg.com. Since he was willing to spend a whopping $10 on a .com, everyone cow-towed to the convention as the new standard for defining browser MMO's. The fact that the site owner included content on his site as an active product, and not just for cyber squatting, convinced everyone else to go along with it. For the most part, that site was a venue for developers of PBBG's prior to vanishing into abandonware years ago, but this site remains.

A Perspective

As far as I know, I believe that my site was one of the first, if not the first to focus specifically on PBBG's only. The idea wasn't unique however as there were already a lot of sites dedicated to listing MUD sites. Over time, lots of other sites popped up and listed every known PBBG out there, no matter how terrible, and there were a lot of terrible PBBG's that were nothing more than a learning experience for a student developer. So I changed my approach and focused on listing only the top browser based MMO's. That concept persists to this day.

There was a time, when my site was so popular, I even had site staff to help with content. I was getting daily requests from developers to include their games, and in most cases, I did oblige them, but very few ever made my top ranked list. I still get a few requests these days as well as a few private alpha and beta invites, but they are infrequent.

What Does The Future Hold?

I'll explain it this way. This article is in reply to an email I received from the developer over at pbbg.site. He asked me about the history of this site as well as the future. What you've read so far was my email response to him. However, after taking the time to type up a reply, I decided that that I wanted this content on my site, rather than his. (Sorry Vincent). So even though I recognize a decline in the interest of PBBG's, to include the number of quality games, the number of sites talking about them, and the number of users looking for them, I still have no plans to abandon it and it's nice to see others taking up the torch. This site has loyal fans that still check in a few times a year to see if anything new is listed. They don't represent a large fan-base, but what they lack in quantity, they endure with quality. So this site will remain for them, and for myself, as well as for new sites that continue to reference my Mammoth PBBG List for inclusion on their own sites.