PBBG History
PBBG's: A Historic Perspective

I'm afraid that for the most part, the usage of the term "PBBG" has come and gone. Though it is still in use, it is to a lesser degree than when it was initially coined as a term to describe Browser MMO's. 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. However, I do believe that the term will persist for those individuals that wish to keep their searches refined, and for those that with to keep the attention of those doing the searching.

"PBBG" Coined

In January of 2007, there was a lot of discussion about how to classify browser based MMO's. This was due primarily to their ever rising popularity and the need to distinguish them apart from application based MMO's. Most of these discussions 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.

At the time, the name that I was suggesting was "PBRPG" which stood for "Persistent Browser Based RPG" as well as "PBRTS" to identify strategy games played in a browser. The site you are on now, though it has changed over the years, reflected my preference with the URL bprpg.wikidot.com, which has since then changed more than once. Another contender with his own idea for a naming convention coined the acronym "PBBG" and thereafter bought the domain pbbg.com. Since he was willing to spend a whopping $10 on a .com, everyone kowtowed to the convention as the new standard for defining browser MMO's.

Interest in PBBG's reached a peak in July 2008 and then steadily declined until April 2013 and have sustained steady, albeit low, interest to users since then.

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 the popularity of PBBG's as a viable genre, I have not been able to bring myself to delete my site and over the years it has morphed from pbrpg.wikidot.com to pbbg.wikidot.com and 10 years later to illumiblocki.com. Prior to the new domain purchase, 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 supporters had pre-paid for the game and after that, I was kind of over it.

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 and in many cases, MUD's were played in a browser. Over time, a lot 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.

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 and future of this site. 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 I have any new PBBG's 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.

And to guarantee future content, despite the rise or decline in the interest in PBBG's, I'm including additional game content as well, something that I've been intending to do for a while now.