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 are 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.

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 PBBG is not

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 MMOG 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 move your browser to a different 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 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 game venues.