Choice of Games vs Hosted Games

So, I’m probably getting a bit ahead of myself, but I was curious. For all the writers on the site, what are the pros and cons of using the “Choice of Games” and “Hosted Games” labels? Do Choice of Games generally produce better games than Hosted Games? How much money do people generally make with each? How much creative freedom do you have with each? How difficult is it to get considered for a Choice of Games label? Generally, which do people prefer?
Also, for Choice of Games writers, do you prefer to write under the 25% Royalties outline or the Work for Hire outline? What are the major pros and cons of each and how much money do people generally make all together using the 25% Royalties outline compared to the Work for Hire outline?
(I have read the “Looking for Writers” page, so I do know the basics, I’d just like people’s personal opinions of which they prefer to use and why.)

1 Like

I’m a HG author, and I think it’s a mixed bag. On one side, you have more creative freedom. On the other side, the official gamebooks get priced higher, advertised more, and they get company sponsored copyediting. Plus, HGs aren’t prioritized publishing wise

As for work for hire vs royalties, I’d choose royalties if and when I get into the official label. It’s continous and you get payed more the more successful your title is. For example, Heroes Rise gets over 10K a year each, whereas if Zachary had chosen work for hire, he would have only made 20K period, instead of like 21K in the first year of having each title published.

As for quality, I’d say the majority of the CoGs are average, whereas the majority of the HGs are either amazing or meh.


Awesome! That’s really helpful. I’m going to take a shot at a Hosted Game, since I’m not very experienced in writing professionally and so far it’s mostly been a hobby. One thing that worries me though is that there don’t seem to be an awful lot of Hosted Games on the site. I’m not sure whether that’s because not many people submit their Hosted Games, or because most of the Hosted Games don’t get accepted.
By the way, Trial of the Demon Hunter looks awesome! I’ll definitely give it a playthrough sometime. (Once I’m finished playing all the free games) :stuck_out_tongue:

There are a lot of hosted games lol. There are in hosted games page section :wink: they are or terrible or Amazing no middle position, but 80% are amazing Cog are worst in general probably due lack of time and more restrictive conditions. I recommended you Waywalker saga and tin star

1 Like

There are actually more HGs than CoGs :stuck_out_tongue:
Thanks ^^ let me know what you think!

1 Like

What are the pros and cons of using the “Choice of Games” and “Hosted Games” labels?
Basically, there’s better promotion for the official CoGs than HGs, notably on the app stores. One benefit of going Hosted (if given the choice) is that it can wholly reflect your vision rather than being edited to fit CoG’s. That mainly comes in with choice-of-gender stuff, but CoG might also push you to e.g. streamline an overly complex world or add more choices or something.

Do Choice of Games generally produce better games than Hosted Games?
No. That was the idea at first, but the passion of HG authors often produces games as good or better (and notably longer!) than the “pros” who get CoG contracts. I’ve got roughly equal numbers of faves from each camp.

How much money do people generally make with each?
Bit of a mystery. I don’t recall any of the authors on the forum sharing clear details.

How much creative freedom do you have with each?
See above. With HG, almost total. With CoG, some limits–which will weigh heavier on some people than others.

How difficult is it to get considered for a Choice of Games label?
They seem so far to have stuck with the “previously published” criterion pretty closely. It also has to fit their style criteria.

For Choice of Games writers, do you prefer to write under the 25% Royalties outline or the Work for Hire outline?
Many of the “pros” seem to have taken the money up front deal – including if I’m not wrong Zach Sergi of Heroes Rise? But if you’re not trying to live off it it’s probably a better deal to go for royalties. You’re also less likely to have Jason ask if he can publicly insult you. :slight_smile:

To me, the real deal breaker for the up front $10k is the IP handover. I want to be able to write more stories in my world, and not solely for CoG…

1 Like

Zach went for royalties

Or maybe you’re right…I thought I remembered seeing somewhere that he went for royalties.

As for revenue, most payed titles earn anywhere from 3K - 11K a year.

1 Like

I think I saw somewhere that CoG owns the IP for Heroes Rise, which would imply that Zach took the money and ran…

I’d also bet there are several less popular titles that don’t net 3k a year to the author. Even for those which make it in their first year, there’s likely to be a subsequent drop off.

You can check who owns the IP of the games on their about page. If the copyright is owned by Choice of Games it means the author took the $10,000 deal. If it’s owned by the author they chose royalties.

Well based on what @FairyGodfeather pointed out, CoG has rights to the Heroes Rise series and Slammed, among others, but authors like Max Gladstone kept IP rights for Deathless, which makes sense as he had already authored books set in his universe.

But then I get confused because Life of a Wizard’s ‘about’ screen shows CoG as having the copyright but it is a Hosted Game and I’m pretty sure @Lucid didn’t get “bought out” (but I could be wrong).

1 Like

Man, that sucks for Zach 0.0 20K period instead of 21k a year…oh well, I suppose he must have had his reasons.

1 Like

@Samuel_H_Young 20K period is still a lot of money and then there is the third HR game in the making.

Oh, definitely. Relative to how much he could be making, though, I would’ve made the royalties choice. After HeroFall comes out, he would hypothetically be making 35K per year from Heroes Rise.

1 Like

Ugh. I just had a thought. With CoG owning Heroes Rise and wanting to milk every last dollar out of its July release (nothing wrong with that, obviously), I wonder how long they will want to wait before letting me get Community College Hero published?

Point of order: It’s 10k up front if you choose to take that option (plus a bit more if you decide to do your own cover art).

It took 5 months for TotDH to get published :stuck_out_tongue: be prepared for something similar.

It’s been my experience that CoG label games have higher priority on the publishing queue, which makes sense. Even with some unforeseen delays, Mecha Ace is chugging along the publication process much faster than Sabres of Infinity did.

As a point of interest, since money has come up and it makes sense to put that into context time-wise on how long it takes to write and then publish: what is roughly the time it takes from an author turning a work in to CoG to the game being published? Mainly for hosted games.

It’s been discussed on the forums before, but I have no seen any actual estimates of the time itself, just discussion on what tends to keep them in approval hell for long periods of time.

@Goshman I’d say year to year and a half to finish a gamebook and then anywhere between one and six months to publish it. Just my observations. Might be wrong.

Sabres of Infinity took about two and a half months from submission to publication.

Mecha Ace was submitted at the end of March and will be released in the second week of June, but the process is a lot more involved: the guys at CoG spent a month helping me (and by that, I mean doing 95% of the work on their end) with continuity testing (going through repeated read-throughs to find plotholes and continuity errors). I spent another week working on the cover art, and now it’s going through copy-editing.

1 Like