How to Pitch a Video Game Idea

The famous director Christopher Nolan once said an idea is like a contagious virus. This is the main reason why pitching a video game idea is the most significant part of any project in any company. A clear explanation of the game’s concept will make it stand out from the competition. And what’s even more important, investors will remember the fascinating details and unique story. 

An animated woman with pink hair in a workshop setting, pondering over sketches of various character designs and game layouts

Research and Market Analysis Before Pitching

Small things always make sense when pitching a game idea. So, conducting thorough research, market analysis, and a soft launch strategy is crucial to increase the chances of success.

Firstly, identify your target audience and market. Think about your idea deeply and determine who your game is intended for. For example, if your pitch idea is based on an isometric puzzle game concept, analyze an audience of similar video games, their age, gender, and preferences. You need to show deep interest in the chosen topic, especially while discussing it with the stakeholders.  

Secondly, you need to analyze who are your potential investors. Your future success depends on their thoughts about the uniqueness and value of your idea, so you need to be aware of their experience and preferences. The most effective way to impress them is to make a competitive analysis before the video game pitch and integrate the results into your game pitch document.

It may sound controversial but it’s a very rational decision. Using podcasts, gaming social networks, blogs, and websites, you can find video game pitch examples and study cases of your competitors. Probably, game publishers in one area will be the same, or at least, their questions may be quite similar, so you will know all the pitfalls and what way to pitch is better to choose. The pleasant bonus here is the opportunity to take into consideration alien mistakes and prepare better for video game idea submission.

One more thing is significant to consider: trends. You can be inspired by a specific old-fashioned genre, but stakeholders won’t be interested in investing in your idea. Sometimes, it’s not a big deal. For instance, an indie game budget is small but as a result, it can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However, it’s better to search for trends on the internet: are 2D games still popular? Which color palette is the most pleasant now? Is minimalism the main trend nowadays? Maybe, this research will help you with coming up with a new video game idea.

video game pitch game art, how to come up with an idea, cartoon style

Developing a Strong Game Pitch Document

The game pitch document should have a specific structure that will answer stakeholders’ questions even before they ask them. The best idea is to start with a clear title, cover page, and brief executive summary. The beginning is the perfect moment to intrigue your audience, so use this time to make them listen to your idea.

The main part should include the background of the game team, your motivation, and inspiration. But it’s essential to provide useful information and not to pour water. So, pay maximum attention to the gaming concept and gameplay mechanics, explain who your game is intended for, and prepare a monetization strategy.

After giving information about your idea and explaining the inner moments, time to talk about your video game needs. Estimate the budget and break down costs into categories, specify the technical requirements (for instance, the platform for gaming release), and describe the marketing strategy. As icing on the cake, show your audience the concept arts and visual details. It will consolidate their interest.

That’s all that you need for the strong game pitch document. Don’t forget about the conclusion and visually appealing details to make your idea as good as possible.

Developing a strong game pitch document

Effective Communication Skills

The complexity of a video game project is hard to explain without good communication skills. Also, if your way to pitch is unclear, it can lead to misunderstanding and confusion. 

Studies show that people with good ideas and bad presentation skills aren’t able to convey the project’s enthusiasm to the investors. Instead, charismatic leaders with amazing storytelling skills establish and maintain trust with potential business partners.

It’s because the gaming industry not selling only the product. It sells a unique experience. If stakeholders associate your video game idea with passion and pleasant excitement due to your charisma and soft skills, they will be positively inclined toward investing in your gaming concept.

What's a Video Game Idea Pitch Meeting? 5-step Method

A video game idea pitch meeting is a presentation where individuals or teams propose a concept for a new game to stakeholders. Usually, it has 5 steps.

The first one is preparation. It includes structuring the idea into the document and practicing its delivery to the audience.

The second step is introduction. You need to come up with eye-catching information to impress potential investors while introducing yourself and your team.

The most difficult part is the video game pitch presentation. If you have done the first step correctly, this stage will be a little bit easier. Assign responsibilities if you present as a team, follow a clear plan, avoid using “baseless” words, and back up your statements with facts. This simple advice ensures success.

After the presentation, the fourth step is questions and discussions. Stakeholders always have a lot of unclarified moments to ask about, so your goal is to minimize their quantity while idea pitching.

The additional fifth step is closing remarks and follow-up. It is a post-presentation stage. Investors are more likely to express their enthusiasm for the project and their eagerness to move forward or add some comments and personal recommendations.

Wide cartoon scene resembling animated films, depicting a player wearing VR goggles, virtual game world

Case Studies of Successful Video Game Pitches

One of the most significant steps is analyzing successful video game pitch case studies.

Diablo

Epic battle scene with monster, showcasing unique board game ideas

Blizzard Entertainment focused on what was missing in computer gaming in the 1990s. They prepared a detailed game pitch document and filled a neglected niche in the computer game market. As a result, they had blizzard success.

What you should take into account: analyze trends deeply, read Reddit discussions about the modern gaming industry, search for some unusual details, and try to integrate them into your project.

Grand Theft Auto

Detailed 3D game ideas embodied in a GTA character design, example of successful video game pitch

In the beginning, the idea of this game was quite controversial. Deepening into the concept and outline of the game won the hearts of investors. DMA Design LTD wasn’t scared to change the original story: they already had the perfect vision with all the details, so they just adapted them to the final version of the game.

What you should take into account: consider all details beforehand and don’t reject other ideas and suggestions.

The Ultimate List for Avoiding Pitching Mistakes

It’s not a secret that avoiding all mistakes is impossible. But video game pitches often face typical problems, so we prepared a small list for your acquaintance.

Practice your pitchDo it as many times as possible before the video game presentation to feel more confident.
Know your numbersStakeholders like precise information proven by statistics and facts.
Avoid overconfidenceBeing charismatic and passionate is very significant but it works only in combination with politeness and smart statements.
Be honestEveryone wants to make first good impression but fake facts can play a cruel joke.
Learn from rejectionsYour first video game pitch can be unsuccessful but giving up is not the way. Learn from this experience and move forward.
Pixar-stylized conference room with large panoramic windows revealing a cityscape. In the center, a character stands by a big screen

How to Pitch a Video Game Idea for Funding and Investment

Many inexperienced game-developing teams think that they can find investors after the first video game pitch. But the process is much more complicated, so there are a few pitfalls you should be aware of.

The most important thing is to research your target investors. Find their successful and unsuccessful cases and learn from them. Also, you may try to find some stakeholders who are more interested in investing in startups or helping them with various gaming tasks. And don’t forget to prepare a specific monetization strategy. It’s just a matter of getting the imagination going – including in-app purchases, ads, premium pricing, etc.

After you catch the investors’ interest, it will be the best moment to present a clear and realistic budget for game development, marketing, and distribution. Try not to give the queries but provide financial projections that demonstrate potential return on investment (ROI) for the investor. And of course, don’t forget to prove your words with formulas and statistics.

The competitive process of pitching is impossible without risks and mitigations. Try to identify potential risks associated with your video game idea and provide strategies or solutions to mitigate them. This situation will present you as a responsible person who will take care of investor’s money properly.

How to Pitch Like a Pro at Conferences

  1. Prepare for the video game pitching connecting with industry professionals

If you have the opportunity to ask some questions to the top specialists in the gaming industry, do it. Even one good advice can boost your confidence and change the game to your side.

  1. Start with a hook

People at networking events and conferences are always very busy, so they will carefully listen to you only if they understand they can take advantage of your video game pitch.

  1. Practice the “Three-Act Structure”

This is a very good marketing instrument that impacts the audience’s attention. Structure your pitch like a three-act story: introduce the gaming idea (Act 1), present the details (Act 2), and provide a resolution (Act 3).

  1. Use confidence and poise

Business people enjoy listening to startups and new ideas enthusiastically. Exude confidence and maintain good posture and eye contact while delivering your pitch.

  1. Don’t forget about networking

Pitching a video game idea is the most important part of the conference for you. But use it as an opportunity to network with industry professionals, potential investors, and collaborators.

From Concept to Cash Is Your Game Idea Ready for the Pitch

From Concept to Cash: Is Your Idea Ready for the Pitch?

Video game idea pitch is a very important step before getting success. The most important here is to always look for new opportunities and constantly develop your product. Let’s sum up key takeaways and final pieces of advice to help you determine if your game idea is pitch-ready:

  • create a clear concept.
  • research stakeholders, the gaming market, trends, everything.
  • plan marketing and promotion strategy.
  • practice pitching by yourself or with your team.
  • be ready to act quickly.

Remember that the video game industry is competitive and things may be hard to figure out in the beginning, but with a well-prepared pitch and a compelling game concept, you will have a successful deal with stakeholders and investors. Good luck with your video game idea pitch!

How to Manage the Publishing Process

Imagine the situation in which your video game idea was successfully submitted by investors and now it’s time to get your game to market. This is quite an unstable process because the difference between the developer and publisher is huge but with the right negotiating strategy, there won’t be any problems.

Here is one more way to make the publishing process easier: you can choose self-publishing. It is different from traditional publishing and has its pros and cons. So, the choice between them depends on your goals, resources, and preferences.

Self-publishing

Self-publishing is better if you prefer to control everything by yourself. It’s also much faster because you and your team make all decisions regarding the content, cover design, pricing, and marketing strategies. Don’t forget about restrictions: self-publishing doesn’t have them. But funding is only up to you, and if the project fails, it will be your responsibility.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing suggests a high level of expertise in editing, design, marketing, and distribution. Also, financial support can cover some of your production costs and provide help during the writing or development process. However, creative control, longer timelines, and restrictions are the cons from this side. So, both variants are good, you just need to understand what you and your video game needs now.

If you choose traditional publishing, remember some advice before negotiating deals. Firstly, define the scope of the agreement. You should clearly outline what rights you are granting to the publisher. It’s always better to say ‘no’ or ask for consultation with a lawyer if you feel that the publisher violates your rights.

Don’t forget to pay attention to royalties, advances, and subsidiary rights. Make sure that all details are discussed and that nothing of your video game information will be used for the wrong purposes. Thirdly, establish who retains the copyright and ownership of the work, and document everything. You should always prioritize your interests and remember that it is never too late to change the publisher or the way to present your game to the world.

Navigating the Game Publishing Process​