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Why Dlala Studios pitches its next game at least 18 months before finishing development

Dlala Studios CEO AJ Grand-Scrutton on building a sustainable studio for project-to-project production
Why Dlala Studios pitches its next game at least 18 months before finishing development
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Developers looking for a publishing partner should ensure they are pitching their game no later than 18 months before the end of a project, says Dlala Studios CEO AJ Grand-Scrutton.

Speaking at the Games Growth Summit, Grand-Scrutton was taking part in a panel covering pitching tips, alongside panelists including Team17’s senior game scout Meg Clarke and Secret Mode’s head game scout Josh Garrity.

Always be pitching

Grand-Scutton said for a studio like Dlala, which is project to project and doesn't yet have a breakout hit, developers should permanently be pitching their next projects.

He said as a rule of thumb, he doesn't pitch the next thing any later than 18 months before the end of the current project.

He explained that if they are lucky, studios can get a yes for a deal with a publisher within six months, potentially a contract six months later, and if they are really lucky, their first payment one to two months after that. 

"So that’s already 14 months, if you’re lucky," he said.

Pitches be crazy

Explaining what that process looks like, he described how soon he worked on the studio's pitch for what became Disney Illusion Island and then its next project.

"I finished Battletoads on the Friday, I started writing Mickey on the Monday, that was September," said Grand-Scrutton.

"And by Christmas I was out pitching for the thing we’d do once we’d finish Mickey two and a half years later."

He added: "The only way to sustain a business like mine, which is project to project, because we haven’t had a massive breakout hit, is permantly be pitching basically. And pitches be crazy."