PBBG Defined
What is a PBBG?

PBBG: "Persistent Browser Based Game"
Commonly: Browser Based MMORPG

A PBBG is a computer game that satisfies the following two criteria:

  • It is browser based meaning that the game is played over the Internet using only a web browser.
  • It is persistent meaning that progress in the game is achieved over multiple play sessions.

PBBGs merge the depth and longevity of an application-based game with the accessibility and portability of a browser-based game. PBBG is sometimes spoken as pee-bee for brevity.

The PBBG medium encompasses games of all traditional genres: role-playing, strategy, sports, simulation, and so forth.

PBBGs can be single player or massively multi-player games also known as Browser Based MMORPG's. However, since an Internet connection is required to play, multi-player game play is usually assumed and hence the phrase "massively multi-player" is omitted from the abbreviation PBBG. A PBBG can be a traditional RPG style browser game or a Browser Based Strategy Game commonly known as a "Strat" but in order to qualify as a PBBG the strat must be 100% persistent with no server resets; this omits many modern day strats from this site.

PBBGs may be text-based, or they may take advantage of browser plug-ins such as Flash or Java to create a more dynamic game play environment. However, Java is no longer supported in most browsers and Flash will no longer be supported after 2020 in favor of the greater security offered in HTML5.

The PBBG definition is device-independent. In particular, a persistent game played within the web browser of a cell phone or other wireless device is still a PBBG. Such a game may be referred to as a mobile-enabled PBBG.

What a PBBG isn't

A PBBG is not the same thing as a MMOG (massively multi-player online game), generally speaking. There is some overlap, but MMOGs include games that are run as an application on your computer. Application-based games do not have the portability that PBBGs do and require a download or the purchase of a program that must then be installed on your PC. On the other hand a PBBG does not require a formal download and install. Think of PBBGs as a type of MMORPG that are browser-based.

A PBBG is also not the same thing as a browser-based game, generally speaking. Browser-based games include arcade, puzzle, and card games which are over as soon as you close the web page. These games lack the longevity and persistence of PBBGs, where progress is made over days, weeks, or months. PBBGs are a type of browser-based games BUT they are "Persistent Browser Based Games."

Over the years, PBBG's have declined as a label, but not as a concept. In fact, some MMORPG developers have developed games that can be played within an application and through a web browser at the same time thus giving all players the opportunity to interact with each other, through a variety of devices.