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Given two games with very similar names:

Alien Shooter II - Vengeance

Alien Shooter: Vengeance

Is there some place that I can go to get an ID or the 'canonical' name for these games? I suspect that they are the same game, but it's very hard to say for certain.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

No, there is no single, central, comprehensive source for this information.

There's MobyGames; I'm not sure how they aggregate all their data, it's not completely accurate but it may be your best bet. There's also the US Patent and Trademark Office or the copyright office, via which you may be able to wade through trademark or copyright filings to find "official" names. Not all of those would correspond to actual shipped titles, though, and you probably won't find the smaller titles on any of those sites.

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Mobygames is probably the best choice in this case, but the information is mostly user submitted, so there's definitely gaps. –  thedaian Jan 30 '12 at 19:52
MobyGames looks helpful, thanks, I'll take a closer look. –  jcollum Jan 30 '12 at 19:53
@jcollum also remember that game names frequently change from region to region (especially in regard to the West and the East). –  Jonathan Dickinson Feb 1 '12 at 10:51
FYI to anyone who reads this: MobyGames isn't interested in providing any sort of API into their database, if you need to pull their data you'll have to get it from the html. –  jcollum Feb 1 '12 at 17:11
You just can't have such a centralized database. One game can come in different SKUs, with different titles in different regions, with green blood for Germany, without the sex cutscene for the US, then you have collector editions, re-editions, digital versions, DLCs... So there's no such thing as a single "game ID"! –  Laurent Couvidou Sep 26 '12 at 9:22

Something like that exists for emulators called GoodTools. It's a suite of applications each containing a database of all "known games" and identifying ROMs via checksums to rename the files to a canonical scheme. Unfortunately I'm not aware of anything similar for the PC platform.

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