Perfecting Your Game Pitch: Learnings from Pocket Gamer LaunchPad
Diego Lizarazo Rivera
Sr. Developer Evangelist
A couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to continue our indie games outreach by participating in Pocket Gamer LaunchPad. This was a series of digital events designed to celebrate new, upcoming, or updated mobile games. Continuing this year's trend, the event took place across multiple virtual sites, streams, and social media. As many of the participants were based in Europe, this gave us the chance to connect with a different set of indie game developers.
One of the most interesting aspects of the event was the Publisher SpeedMatch that paired mobile developers with publishers, to give them a chance to pitch and showcase their games in 7 minute conversations.
Since pitching a game is an art of its own, in this post we will cover some of the most useful tips to pitch your games, taken directly from our conversations at the event. Then, we will wait for your game pitches, because we will give you the chance to pitch your mobile games to the Samsung Developers team.
During the event, some hand-picked participants and publishers could sign up for the Publisher SpeedMatch. This was an incredibly creative way to match developers and publishers and let them talk about their games and opportunities in a short period of time.
Pocket Gamer did an amazing job setting up a common video conference room and then orchestrated smaller conversations between the participants. These were private video chat rooms where a developer and a publisher could talk for 7 minutes. These short meetings were not designed for closing a deal, but enabled an initial introduction that could be followed up with a longer meeting during or after the conference. In a couple of hours, we had the chance to talk with a dozen different developers, mostly based in Europe, and learn about amazing mobile games.
Since time was of the essence, every developer did an amazing job of utilizing the given 7 minutes to tell us as much as they could about the games. We have had the chance to talk with many of them after the event and, incredibly, it felt like if we already knew all the important aspects of their game and could just focus on collaboration opportunities.
Game Pitch Tips
Below you will see some of the most important pieces of advice we can offer after our experience at the Publisher SpeedMatch. But, don’t forget to connect with other game developers .They may be able to share their own pitch experiences and tips.
Most situations that require you to pitch your game will provide you a limited amount of time, and you should make it count. Find what makes your game stand out. That could be the game mechanics, the characters, the amazing graphics, or the amazing reception during game testing. Then, spell it out. Remember that the people you are pitching the game to have never heard about it before, and they may not be able to infer everything you want from your promotional game video. Think about the 2 or 3 things you want them to remember, and make them the most important part of your pitch.
I was particularly surprised how every game developer we talked to during the Publisher SpeedMatch utilized every single second to show us more about their game, the game experience, or the plans they had to publish and monetize their games. They all knew they had only 7 minutes to talk with us, and they clearly practiced their pitches to even have some time to answer questions.
Tailor your pitch
Know your prospective audience and figure out what makes your game stand out with them. The best pitches we saw were the ones that showcased the mobile abilities of their games, and had a clear idea on how to reach new audiences by publishing in Samsung's Galaxy Store.
It is different to talk about your game with other game developers, which may focus on your game mechanics or the technical issues you had to overcome, and making your pitch to a publisher, investor, or event judges.
Try to figure out in advance what matters to your audience and spend more time there. And if you are still uncertain, you can even start the conversation asking, "What kind of games do you like?" or "What type of games you are looking for?" You will get many hints that can steer the rest of the conversation.
Describe the core experience of your game
Can you describe the intended experience of your game in a couple of sentences? We have already mentioned that you don't have a lot of time to pitch your game, but on top of that, people tend to remember a few things when describing a game. For example, Is your game the shooter that uses squid ink?, or the one where you throw birds everywhere?, or the one where you die every other minute?, or the one that rewinds time to solve puzzles? Create a tagline that is going to be used to describe your game and then showcase it in your pitch to make it memorable.
Make it engaging
Can you use images? Videos? Show actual game play? Let the audience play the game right after your pitch? Since you don't have a lot of time but likely,know the format that your pitch has to follow, you can prepare to show the best aspects of your game. Every single second that your audience stays with you should increase their love and excitement for the game.
If you are going to let others play the game, try to start the demo in an interesting part of the game. Tutorials may be a necessary evil, but they rarely match the pace and experience that you may show during a boss fight.
Mention the state of your development
Many publishers and investors would like to know how close you are to having an alpha or beta version of your game. Be prepared to respond to this question honestly and set the expectations from the beginning.
Depending on the type of pitch, having a detailed development plan could be a great idea. It shows that you know what you are doing, and that you have clear expectations on when you will be reaching the different development milestones.
Leave time for questions
This one is tricky, because quite likely you just want to go on and on about all the amazing aspects of your game. But, your audience may have important questions that can help you to get immediate feedback and reactions. If you can, always leave time to answer as many questions as you can.
Practice your pitch
No one is going to be great at explaining in two lines what their passion project is all about. This is like talking about your babies, and you will quite likely ramble about technical aspects that you had to overcome to bring this little gem to the world, but players and producers may not see any glimpse of your struggles while playing your games.
What I am trying to say is, your first pitches will not be good, and that is why you should find people to listen and give you honest feedback. And then you should repeat the experience over and over again.
You may think that this only useful to create the perfect pitch, but you can see it as an opportunity to discover what is the essence of your game, and what resonates with your audience.
Connect with us
We would love to hear your game pitch and learn more about your game. We also would like to show you why Galaxy Store is a great place to publish your games and get discovered. If you are a game developer and want to request a quick chat with us, just fill out this form.