Are CYOA the next big thing?


what do you guys think?



From what I’ve seen, CYOA games have been wallowing in obscurity for quite a while now. And it seems that it’ll stay that way for some time.

Honestly, I prefer this. As much of a hipster as this might make me look, I really don’t want this site to blow up in popularity. I just want it to be this nice, obscure place where I can talk with polite people about stuff we’re interested in. It’s like my little cave from reality.

Besides, I think it’s pretty obvious by now that mainstream websites have a lot of bad shit on them. And I don’t want that kind of stuff on these lovely forums.


I personally hope IF gets bigger, and it’s clear to me that CoG has been getting more and more successful every year. I think us authors deserve to get as much exposure as we can, and a larger fanbase shouldn’t negatively impact the forum at all, as the rules and admins will still be the same. :slight_smile:


Possibly but IMO probably not. CYOA’s have been around a long time. They were pretty popular during the 80’s to early 90’s with “choose your own adventure” and “fighting fantasy” and then spiked in popularity again in the later 90’s with goosebumps. They seem to be a kind of thing that comes and goes in popularity.


Probably not. The Choose Your Own Adventure / Fighting Fantasy books were massive in the 80s/ early 90s because there weren’t many other opportunities for interactive storytelling on the market. That changed with the development of computer games, which quickly eclipsed them. They were pretty much dead when I was growing up in the late 90s, although you’d often see them in libraries and second-hand bookshops.

Choice of Games have carved out a niche by translating things into app form, and because they’ve attracted some exceptional writers. (Whereas very few of the original books were at all well-written). I suspect there’s still plenty of room for growth, and that their biggest challenge will simply be making potential customers aware that they exist. However, I very much doubt that they’ll ever reach the same mass audience as games like Skyrim and Mass Effect.


It might not become as popular as it once was but I believe the reasons why its not more popular now is because of a lack of publicity. CYOA games are niche but I think its because most peoples dont know that it adapted to technology and still assosciate the genre to the old games and the occasional short ones released on steam or free flash games websites (I miss how popular those used to be)

Most people dont know that CYOA games can be much more interactive and offer more game time than even regular videogames now. Just see the upcoming choice of the rebel and choice of the cat. Everyone I know who tried rebel know the potential this game have and there is still more chapters to come. I expect this story to give me much more game time, emotions and story branching than the telltale walking dead games but I dont expect it to become more popular because its just a waterdrop in the ocean of internet while walking dead have tons of videos on youtube. If peoples dont know about it they cant know how great it is.

Lots of peoples dont like reading too.

Oh and funny fact, despite all that, I noticed a lot of adult CYOA games are really getting pretty popular with creator patreons sometimes allowing them the freedom to work full time on their stuff.


Im going to say no.
They have been getting more successful over the years, but I dont think anybody, except for people who search for this on their own because they want to play games like these would know about them. Most people these days are looking at games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, The Witcher and things like that. Most people dont have the attention span to get really immersed in a story, and make choices that will affect it. Most people are interested in explosions, guns, and throwing fireballs, and CYOA games dont offer anything that visually stunning. I think its also part of the reason why people dont read books anymore, and CYOA is essentially a book, with choices in it, albeit a bit different depending on the platform.


I hope the answer is ‘no’.
As much as I love them, we have ALL seen how something being ‘the next big thing’ destroys quality, leaving nothing but a broken and charred husk behind with no chance of rcovery.


Actually I think the early computer games complimented them rather than eclipsed them. They were text based with limited graphics and popular at a similar time (from memory 80’s-early 2000’s ish). Think Zork and early D&D and the like (If you’ve ever had a chance to play them :slight_smile: ) Themed Chat/Text based RPG used to be pretty popular as well, but as the graphics became better and the internet faster, you see less and less of this type of game. I actually quite miss some of the text based games, you could get strong storylines happening because they needed to rely on text rather than graphics to get through.


They are getting more popular. For example the incredibly legendary fabled land Choose Your Own Adventure series is getting there at 7 book released because of Kickstarter. Another Kickstarter recently done really well called steam Highwayman.


Makes sense. I guess the Fighting Fantasy game-books must have come from a similar place to early computer games like ZORK, as they both sought to replicate the tabletop RPG experience for solo play. Game-books probably had a early advantage, but were edged out as computer games became more sophisticated.

Can’t say I was ever a fan of text-based computer games of the PICK UP FOOD / ATTACK TROLL WITH SWORD variety. My main recollection was how incredibly frustrating they were, as you needed to guess the exact combination of words the game was programmed to accept each time.

Really enjoyed the Fighting Fantasy series, though. I spotted a yellowed old copy of one of them in a second-hand bookshop when I was about seven or eight and immediately loved the idea of a book where you could decide what happened. Got a few of my friends hooked on them as well. My grandparents bought me a copy of Dungeons and Dragons for my 10th birthday, and we played it in our lunch breaks at school for about two years. Good times! I might even still have our old character record sheets squirrelled away somewhere.

That’s probably enough of my reminiscences, but thanks for your posts - they’ve brought back memories that I haven’t thought about in years!


CYOA/IF will probably stay a niche market. I’m not saying there won’t be growth because there will be. However, much like visual novels, CoGs will probably stay fairly (and there is a big overlap between VN fans and CoG fans, at least where interaction and romance are concerned).

This isn’t to say there may not be one or two hits in the future (I mean, Long Live the Queen by Hanako Games is considered a hit by visual novel standards even if the game is more simulation).

That said, one reason I did get into the CoG stuff was the various CYOA. Of course, the basic Choose Your Own Adventure, to TSR’s Endless Quest, Wizards Warriors and You, as well as a bunch of others (Tor Books even did a series based on published game books like in the world of Amber, Xanth, etc.)

Heh, and if I could ever remember the name of an old CYOA, I would get it. I remember the protagonist was a half-elf, and could choose to marry a human princess (losing the elf side), an elf princess (losing the human side), or going on a life of adventure with his talking cat (and remaining a half-elf) (Sorry for the aside)

And there is a reason that the genre morphed into the click-n-point adventure games like the later Sierra stuff.

In a way, CoG isn’t exactly like traditional Choose Your Own Adventure. It can be, definitely, but the ‘original’ Choose Your Own Adventure didn’t use stats. Other variations like Fighting Fantasy did, but still retained an element of risk by using a dice (or coin flip, etc.)

And I don’t know if there would be a market for a CoG/HG with a bit of randomness thrown into a skill check.


CYOA should be a big thing… as a core element and not the whole game. They better not be wishy washy with it though like some corporations treat it.