PGC Digital: Understanding how to pitch to a publisher

"You need to know what your game is and what your production is like"

PGC Digital: Understanding how to pitch to a publisher

As an indie developer, you must know how to approach and pitch to a publisher.

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #4, 1up coach&consult founder Kirstin Bosc gave a talk on pitching, and how important it is to have an understanding of the process.

The problem with sales is that people have misconceptions about everything related to sales," said Bosc.

As Bosc explained, sales should never be about deception or make-believe. It is not about scamming an individual. Doing either of those will make for bad business.

Sales are understanding the needs of everyone involved and just what is on offer by both parties. It is crucial to find a beneficial match.

Sales basics

You must understand what you are offering. It is important to understand your product and just how it relates to the market. More importantly, it is vital to know who the work is aimed at while also have clear and concise communication.

"It is not just about sending the message, but who receives that message," said Bosc

In sales, it is crucial to talk and listen to those involved in the deal, what do they want, what are their needs, and what do they fear? Answering these questions through talking helps both parties to have a better understanding.

"Don't be a dick," said Bosc

In essence, people need to be friendly and authentic. Those that lie and are deceitful will get a reputation for doing so, therefore damaging their business.

How to pitch

"You need to know what your game is and what your production is like," said Bosc.

Moreover, it is vital that during the pitch you sell your team well, letting the publisher know that they are capable of bringing the game to life.

Naturally, communication needs to be clear and effective to help them understand what the game is about; they need "an accurate picture."

As with sales in general, it is vital for a developer to find out fears, wants and needs from the publisher. It is crucial to have the conversation as it can aid in your pitch, no matter how scary it may be to discover a publisher's concerns.

What a publisher wants

A publisher will ask the question, what is the game like? They need to know if people will play it as well as what other games are out there that are of a similar nature.

The secodn thing a publisher will ask is, can we make money from it? It is business at the end of the day, publishing a game can be a risk; it is not personal, but rather a business decision should the game be rejected. Moreover, a publisher needs to be sure that the team can deliver what it has pitched.

"If you don't have a track record, there are always ways to mitigate that," said Bosc.

For example, should a developer have done their homework and expressed that they will ask for help if needed, it will be well received by a publisher.

PGC Digital #4 will run from November 9th to November 13th. To keep up to date with all of our coverage, check out the roundups here. There's still time to sign up - to find out more and book a ticket, head to the website.

Staff Writer

Kayleigh is the Staff Writer for Besides PGbiz and PCGI she has written as a list writer for Game Rant, rambling about any and all things games related. You can also find her on Twitter talking utter nonsense.