7 Tips for Pitching a Video Game Idea
A pitch is a concise description of your game, meant to sell the experience to a specific audience. The art of pitching revolves around modifying your message so that it connects with each specific audience. When crafting your video game pitch, consider the following:
- Do your research. When crafting a pitch for your game idea, it’s important to pitch to the game publisher who creates content similar to your game. If you have a next-level game concept that will require a ton of memory or RAM, a small indie game company may not be able to afford to bring your idea to life. If your idea is a multi-character role-playing game (RPG), it may not be a good fit for a company that publishes first-person shooters. Research publishers who have experience in your game’s genre and craft a pitch tailored to their needs.
- Tailor your pitch. One of the most important elements of pitching is knowing your audience—there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all pitch. Potential team members want to hear about something they would be proud to build. Investors want to hear why your game will be successful. Game journalists want to hear why your concept is fresh and innovative. Refine and modify your language based on who you’re talking to. No matter your audience, always demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for your game.
- Refine your logline. A logline is a one or two-sentence marketing pitch that describes the core experience of your game. The logline will be the strongest part of your pitch, and the first thing to appear in marketing materials for your game. Read the loglines from the marketing materials of other popular games. Note how the language of each logline starts to build an experience of the game and creates expectations in your mind, helping you begin to build a mental model about how it operates during play. Your logline will eventually turn into your elevator pitch—a concise description of your project that can be clearly communicated in a short timeframe, usually 30 seconds to one minute. Elevator pitches can set the tone for your entire pitch, so it is important that they are unique and engaging.
- Provide the basics. The people you pitch to will want to know what the game is, which platform it will live on, how long it will take to make, what resources you will need to create it, and the target audience. Other basic details that should be included in your pitch are descriptions of the game’s antagonist, any special features in the game, and how the game mechanics will work. Ensure that all of the basics are covered in your pitch before setting up a meeting with a potential publisher to give yourself the best chance to sell your game idea.
- Make it engaging. Pitches give you an opportunity to hook the publishers on your idea so your presentation needs to be engaging and attention-grabbing. When presenting elements of the storyline or plot, including relevant backstory, give quick, vivid descriptions of the setting or walk through a chunk of gameplay. Make your pitch an emotional presentation, conveying the worthwhile elements to ensure the potential buyer wants to hear more. You can also add music and special effects to your pitch to heighten the emotion.
- Provide examples. Publishers in the video game industry have heard thousands of pitches before yours. Your pitch needs to stand out so create a visual element to accompany your words. You can use concept art, mockups of your idea, and, if possible, gameplay demonstrations. Having a playable prototype or demo can bring your pitch to life and give a better vision of your game’s goal to possible investors or video game developers.
- Pitch from the perspective of the player. Rather than comparing your game to others on the market during your pitch, describe the feelings a player will experience while playing your game. Talk about the control your player will have and the in-game interactions that will be available to them. Ask the pitch audience to play your game in their head while you speak.
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