Adding Hierarchical Franchise data to metatags/tables

  • It would be helpful to include hierarchical franchise data in a game’s database entry.

    With the addition of 4 metatags, we can create elaborate game hierarchies which, when combined with release dates and platform data, can produce franchise timelines and structures across systems and across game releases.

    An easy way to visualize this is with a series like Street Fighter, that has 10 releases of each game, sometimes 3 on the same platform.

    Street Fighter 3: Third Strike, Championship Edition

    • Series => Street Fighter
    • Franchise => Street Fighter (Because it’s a core title) (Other franchises would be Pocket Fighter, Puzzle Fighter, Street Fighter X etc.)
    • Child of Franchise => Null (Used for intricate series like Final Fantasy or Mario where franchise offshoots have their own franchise offshoots. This lists the next franchise branch up from this one.)
    • Child of game => Street Fighter 3: New Generation (the name of the first released version of the game, under which all releases, versions and variants from all systems can live.)

    The ‘Child of game’ tag is especially important/useful for multi system games. Your 3 different versions of Krusty’s Funhouse, Batman Returns, 12 versions of Mortal Kombat 3, etc. despite title differences, Can now all be referenced together as being children of a single game title. With the right front-end design, all can be accessible any time any one of them is pulled up.

    IGDB includes ‘Series’ and ‘franchise’ tags, but they’re used inconsistently, and do not form hierarchical relationships. TheGamesDB doesn’t have this data at all.

    It would be most useful if these fields accepted multiple tags, so that a mashup game like Super Smash Brothers could be considered part of the Smash series and also the Mario Series and also the Zelda series. Or so that game compilations could be pulled into multiple series. Super Mario Advance would show up as a child of Super Mario 2, but also as a part of the ‘Super Mario Advance’ franchise, and also as one of the 300 versions of 'Mario Bros."

    Super Mario Advance

    • Series => Mario Bros.
    • Franchise => Super Mario Advance
    • Child of Franchise => Super Mario Bros.
    • Child of Game => Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario Bros.

    Super Smash Bros. Brawl

    • Series =>Super Smash Bros. Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Kirby, Kid Icarus, Star Fox, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, EarthBound, Metroid, Fire Emblem, Metal Gear, Ice Climber, Pikmin
    • Franchise => Super Smash Bros.
    • Child of Franchise => Null
    • Child of Game => Null

    Tempest 2000

    • Series => Tempest
    • Franchise => Tempest
    • Child of Franchise => Null
    • Child of Game => Null

    Mega Man Xtreme 2

    • Series => Mega Man
    • Franchise => Mega Man Xtreme
    • Child of Franchise => Mega Man X
    • Child of Game => Null

    Sonic Adventure

    • Series => Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Franchise => Sonic Adventure
    • Child of Franchise =>Null
    • Child of Game => Null

    Sonic Adventure 2 DX

    • Series => Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Franchise => Sonic Adventure
    • Child of Franchise => Null
    • Child of Game => Sonic Adventure 2

    Hard Corps.: Uprising

    • Series => Contra
    • Franchise => Hard Corps.
    • Child of Franchise => Null
    • Child of Game => Null


    It would be a tricky thing to work out, but you could also use community feedback/voting to tag a game as the ‘definitive version’ of a game in a long series. For instance, of the 8 versions of Tempest I have on my Retropie, the Jaguar release would tagged with ‘preferred’, assuming that’s how the community voted.

    All of this would of course create controversy within the community, for instance, check TheTVDB’s ongoing fight over which season of American Dad is currently airing. But that vast majority of games fit easily into this framework.

    This would also begin a system of standardization which would pay off long-term.

    With this data exposed, front end devs could create super cross referenced interfaces through which franchises and different editions could be easily categorized, accessed and understood.

  • administrators

    I like this idea. I’m working on migrating some of the server components and database right now and have another resource helping with new database ideas. We will look at how we could incorporate this idea for sure!

  • Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to give it a look.

  • moderators

    I’ll say to you what I said to smidley:

    I think it’s a good idea, I’m more concerned with whether it’s better implemented as a search feature, booru-type tag pools, or cross-linking based on Wiki-type categories.

    I’ll try to get some mock-ups done in the next week, or if you want to save me the trouble (really just a crappy Paint job will help me visualise) I can get some practical idea of the feasibility of this addition.

  • It’s possible I was thinking small. I had only imagined these as additional fields added to the game data so that devs for EmulationStation, Retropie, etc could use them to create smarter front-ends.

    I’m sure, as a data person, you see that these tags are problematic from a user submission standpoint.
    Is the series Mario Bros. or Super Mario Bros.?
    Is the originating game Mario Bros. arcade cabinet or Famicom?
    Is the originating game the Japanese Mario Bros. 2 release on the Famicom, or the American NES release?
    If I were a casual user inputting data, I probably wouldn’t give these questions the necessary thought.

    My, probably very naive, idea for implementation is below


  • I hope you guys are messing around with region support too!

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