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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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    \$\begingroup\$ www.igdb.com is your friend. It is gaining more game titles by the day. \$\endgroup\$
    – user66897
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ igdb.com Internet Game Database, IGDB.com is a website about video games, intended for both game consumers and video game professionals alike. One of the principles behind IGDB.com is accessibility of data. They wish to share the data with anyone who wants to build cool videogame oriented websites, apps and services. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2016 at 7:13

3 Answers 3

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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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  • \$\begingroup\$ Mobygames is probably the best choice in this case, but the information is mostly user submitted, so there's definitely gaps. \$\endgroup\$
    – thedaian
    Jan 30, 2012 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ MobyGames looks helpful, thanks, I'll take a closer look. \$\endgroup\$
    – jcollum
    Jan 30, 2012 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jcollum also remember that game names frequently change from region to region (especially in regard to the West and the East). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 1, 2012 at 10:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – jcollum
    Feb 1, 2012 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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"! \$\endgroup\$ Sep 26, 2012 at 9:22
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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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As Josh mentioned there's MobyGames however it doesn't provide an API. There are a few systems out there that scrape the mobygames pages but nothing official (or reliable as screen scaping is just ugly). MobyGames mentions they want to build an API but that has yet to surface.

TheGamesDb.net has an API documented here. They have +25k games however very little activity since 2013 (at least on the blog). They suffer from a lot of SPAM on the forums and the API is pretty awkward (case sensitive PHP urls, XML format only, not RESTful at all, etc.)

GiantBomb has +45k games listed. It's more of a Wiki and covers games, characters, etc. It's very similar to ComicVine and offers an API here (you just need to apply for an API key). It's very active and pretty up to date.

Finally IGDB promises to be an Internet Movie DB like system but for games. However it's in closed beta (and has been for some time) so its doubtful anything will come of this. You can check out their Facebook page here to track them down and see if anything is going on with the site as they do have FB updates.

Hope that helps.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ looks like igdb.com is no longer in closed beta \$\endgroup\$
    – jcollum
    Jun 4, 2015 at 19:30

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