In an experimental session led by Steel Media's own Chris James, Pocket Gamer Connects London 2016 saw a panel of investment experts offering feedback to five developers making pitches both to them and to a live audience.
The panel consisted of:
- Shum Singh, Founder and MD, Agnitio Capital
- Keith Katz, Co-Founder & Business Chief, Execution Labs, and
- Kadri Ugand, Partner, GameFounders
First up was a representative from Seepia Games, who delivered a pitch for its upcoming CCG, looking for $250,000 to help the game and company be "bigger than Hearthstone".
Keith Katz suggested that his pitch contained too much "superfluous information" about the market, given that the pitch was being delivered to investment experts.
"I didn't know what your game was until about halfway through," he said, with his feelings echoed by the rest of the panel.
Next was a pitch for MovieSweep, an app that looks to "gamify movie purchasing", looking for $400,000 for 32% of the company.
The advice remained the same - the presentation was too text heavy, and it was hard to understand what the project was looking to do and what the game actually was.
It was also suggested that the amount of equity offered was too much, and that the team would lose control of the product and the interest of investors if they offered too much of their company before receiving enough investment to make the game.
Thirdly was Pierre from KickAlive, which is making Kawaii, a game focused on a female audience, because "no one delivers tenderness."
The presentation, a short video that showed both the game and the vision of the company, was praised by the panel but was critcised for not containing enough metrics on retention and a strategy for monetisation.
Next was a city-building/endless runner hybrid called Traps! from Supersila, a game already soft-launched and featured in Australia.
Katz felt the featuring added some "weirdness", and also suggested that some "sexy metrics" should be offered to entice investors into the game.
Finally was a pitch for Agona from Golabi Studio, a game that is "basically tic-tac-toe" which has two players battling one another through making matches on the board, which was looking for $250,000 for a five month development process.
Singh took issue with the claim that "match-3 games are dying", and pointed out that the game would struggle to find an audience without a much larger budget for user acquisition.
So there was no investment from the experts, but it was a valuable lesson for both the pitchers and everyone watching.