Back in the early 1980s, Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson had a smart idea. They could get fantasy games into high street bookstores (and so bring them to a much wider readership) by grafting D&D-style rules onto the branching-path stories popularized by Choose Your Own Adventure.
In fact The Fantasy Trip's solo adventures got there years earlier (and Ayn Rand beat them to it by decades, kind of) but Fighting Fantasy was the breakout hit, selling a couple of hundred thousand copies per title in Britain alone.
Unlike the Beatles and Hugh Grant they never quite cracked the US market, admittedly, but FF and similar gamebook series sold in the millions worldwide.
Nowadays a print gamebook would be very lucky to shift five or ten thousand copies, and most don't even get close. Why is that? And is there a way for gamebooks to recapture their former popularity? Join us tomorrow to discuss it.