What genre is the most successful in Hosted Games?

I’m sure this question has been asked many, many times but I am new here. I would like to know what genre sells best in Hosted Games? Horror? Science fiction? Thriller? Mystery?

Thanks to all for your help!

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I would say a good story. Tin Star is a story about wild wild west and it is one of the best selling in Host. Community College is sci-fi Hero story is also one of the best selling in Host.


The bestselling franchises are Zombie Exodus (horror), Wayhaven Chronicles (paranormal romantic suspense), and Fallen Hero (superpower drama). I’d say the bestselling genre is probably fantasy/supernatural.


Top grossing titles up to early 2023

Hosted Games Data Sheet (2021)

This. I will add fantasy politics here.


unimpressed michael keaton GIF

The bestselling genre is probably fantasy lol.


I do gravitate to fantasy genre.

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Fantasy, superhero, and romance, no doubt. Oh, and school stories, of course. There are a lot of games in those genres and many of them are quite successful. Of course, the fact that there are fewer games in e.g. science fiction, sports, or historical only means that the readers who want those games are much more eager when a new one comes out. If you write a good game in a less-popular genre, it’s very likely to find a small, but dedicated, audience.


Fantasy- Hands down.

Within that I’d add that for a truly popular game it needs at least a dash of romance.

Within the sub-fantasy genres it changes a bit depending on what’s on trend, but magical schools don’t seem to go away, and superhero themed games have been prevalent for a long time. (Although I wonder if this may change if what’s popular in the box office shifts, as popularity does often mirror what’s popular in media and books at the time. (e.g. there were spikes of popularity for zombies and pirates too for a while there as well.))


I’d definitely agree with this. They seem to be a huge factor in driving engagement and interest. Just look at any of the tumblrs/patreons/etc for authors and you’ll see that the vast majority of the follower interactions are all about the ROs.

Superhero stuff has been popular forever, though. It didn’t just start with the MCU. I remember going to see Batman movies with my dad when I was a little kid, the X-Men movies when I was a teenager, and all sorts of other superhero movies. Tons of cartoon series about Spiderman and Batman and the Justice League and the X-Men and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s not like they’re some kind of flash in the pan trend that’ll die off in a few years, superhero movies have been a big thing for longer than I’ve been alive.


The people saying superhero, fantasy, and romance are all correct. One minor addition is that science fiction tends to do pretty badly, despite having a dedicated fanbase here, and lots of well respected titles. I’ve never been quite sure why that is.

As far as I can tell, the only top selling CoG or Hosted games that are science fiction are Choice of Robots, and MetaHuman, both of which are early CoG games (with Robots being a notable early standout for quality branching narrative).


Romance is a clear top, but as for setting related genre, the best-sellers seem to gravitate loosely around semi-modern. Not too far in the future or the past, not a specific time range from the present, but it feels somewhat syncronous to modern day. Usually superpowers or the supernatural. I actually did an essay on this for media theory, but based on the top sellers, the most common gratifiers that are pursued in the engagement of these interactive novels would be emotional release, companionship, and self-reinforcement/exploration. But those are more of desired concepts rather than actual genres. While there are a few exceptions, gender-choice is often very important. and gender-locked stories tend to not do as well.


Wank at me for saying it, but I’m not sure. Look at those bestseller lists, and only 2 or 3 of the top 10 CoGs and 2 of the top 10 HGs are “fantasy” in the sense of being set in another world with supernatural/magic elements. Superheroes, vampires, zombies, and samurai are all at least equally popular if not more so.

If you want to draw the genre lines to merge most or all of those into a single “fantasy” or supernatural genre, eh, fair enough, but I don’t think that’s particularly illuminating. Might as well throw in sci-fi, call it “speculative fiction,” and incorporate basically all of the bestsellers that don’t rhyme with Pin Jar.


HARD science fiction tends to under perform in particular. Softer and fantasy mix type sci-fi tends to do a lot better.
Other underperforming genres overall are comedy, reality slice of life, non-fantasy historical, and anything with a preset protagonist.


I can only speak about myself, but there’s a bigger chance I’ll buy a game if it has politics in it, or that it lets me make political decisions and influence the story and other characters with that.

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I’ve found I will read almost anything. When I got back into these games after playing Choice of Broadsides and its contemporaries years ago I would have never once thought a school drama like Keeper would interest me but it is now one of my favorites overall. I don’t even like Harry Potter all too much. In a similar way, I have made no small amount of noise about my love of The Golden Rose. Probably not what you were asking after but I do have a point. Write what you are passionate about. Even some, like me who are not your audience might end up loving it anyway.

If you’re asking this question because you want to write a guaranteed hit, I would suggest there are easier ways to make money. Writing a decent game takes several months at least, and many of the popular ones have years of work put into them. If you’re going to write a game, write a story you care about, a story you would want to read. If you’re not a fantasy fan or a paranormal romance reader, and you set out to write an epic fantasy quest or vampire angstfest, it’ll be a slog to write and even if you finish it, which you almost certainly won’t, it will be a slog to read and hardly anyone will buy it.


Romance is probably the most looked for genre even if it’s more of a background plot. Fantasy is probably the biggest seller, low-fantasy specifically seems to go best (I might be incorrect on this end).

The least popular seem to be sci fi (not all but it doesn’t seem to be very popular despite being popular in the forum), puzzle, and medieval.

Of course what makes a game popular is what’s in the game itself. Games with fixed pc aren’t nearly has popular as those with customizable MC. How well the story is written and liked by your audience. Investing in some good cover art seems to help some.

In the end, if someone is looking to write/publish a game, they need to be willing to go 100%. Listen to your audience, do your research on what games have done the best (perhaps even play them to see how the writing style massively influences the sales of the game), perhaps reach out to an author to see how they did their work (most people on here are very nice), and know how to “market” your game (ie being active on forum, updating regularly, good coverart, being able to tell about your story in the summary and tell who the characters are).


I don’t think a single popular game has come out that took less than a year to produce.


Yeah, when I said months for a “decent” game, I meant something like Zoo-pocalypse or A Golden Opportunity - shorter than most people will want to read, but coherent and passably entertaining.


Aether, maybe? Otherwise I imagine you are right. And it has always been an utter anomaly.