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How to Sell Your Game Idea; 5 Commandments of Avoiding Failure

How to Sell Your Game Idea; 5 Commandments of Avoiding Failure


Selling your game idea might be the thing the biggest that is hovering in the cloud overhead. Finding the right answer could bring a drastic change to your future professional endeavors.
But you probably will get surprised by how things work and how harshly the whales of industry might massacre your dreams! But I am here to give you what you need to avoid that.

Today I’m going to tell you all about it; what to do with your idea and how to achieve something real in the game industry. So, stick around, and let’s see how heavily reality lingers over your expectations.

1st Commandment: Ideas Mean Absolutely Nothing!

Yeah, you read that right! As brutal as it seems, there are millions of ideas that are daily developed in the minds of aspiring people. There are even idea generators that can provide a very good setting for your next game.

But I hate to break the fabric of reality and shatter your dream: Dreams mean absolutely nothing in the game industry! Although this doesn’t mean that ideas are worthless, it means they are nothing on their own.

No one will pay and support you only based on an idea, no matter how solid it is. Many other things should muster your brain-child. They are not easy to achieve, yet again, what you are after is no easy matter, and there lie great rewards for you at the end of the road.

2nd Commandment: Execution Supersedes the Idea

selling your game idea Homescapes
Homescapes; Showing The old Match-3-Style Games With Some New Features

Let’s unravel my point via an example. If you haven’t played a match-3-style game, you must have seen one. Games such as Candy Crush, and Jewel Quest conquered the world and still are going strong.
You see how a small idea with a good execution can become a titan of industry.

Even after 10 years, newer titles are using the same old mechanism with some clever retouches and still can deliver a profitable outcome and become popular among the masses.

Let’s analyze Homescapes for instance. With a half-developed addition of a storyline, they have made it a title with +100 million downloads. Also, they added some bonus mechanisms like home (base) building and a tiny pinch of resource management; but we can see how the same old idea of a match-3 game can go so powerful with good execution.

I am not saying that solid ideas are obsolete; even we can count those little additions as little ideas which have formed the final product in Homescapes. Visionary video game developers like Hideo Kojima always deliver a new idea to the table with each new title and IP.

You expect that from him, but even if his products do not deliver a good performance and sturdy gameplay, his ideas would matter to people no more.

3rd Commandment: Thy Art is to Deliver

Selling Your Game Ideas Controller

I said all of those previous points to tell you that saying ‘I have an idea’ is not enough. So, what should I do to make my dreams come true and shape an idea into a real game?


Imagine you are going to ask your friend for some money. Without a pitch, you might come off as rude and even a little pushy for straightforwardly asking for some cash.
Now it is literally the case, you are going to ask a publisher to back you and your game up. If you go there with only your ideas, you have a great chance to be thrown out by security than getting what you want (except if being thrown out is what you desire!).
You have to be prepared and go with an arsenal of presentation tools and game art services to back your idea.

Know What You Are After

You should know what your expectations are and keep them real. You have to provide them with a roadmap and tell them exactly how many resources you are going to need.

Manpower, time, money; it is not important which one is more important to you; you should tell the publisher clearly what your priorities and needs are

Don’t Get Cold Feet Fast

You will have to present your game to many publishers before finding your publisher; that is if your project is solid enough for one of them.
Do not get your expectations high as it is a marathon than a sprint.

Pitch Immaculately

You should be ready for any question that might come your way from the publisher. Be ready for their hard criticism and listen to their professional bits of advice when they provide them.

I know that your freedom as an artist or developer might be in jeopardy when selling a video game or even selling your board game ideas, but they have the last call in these kinds of projects and it is up to them how they want to approach your game, And it is up to you to accept their offer or not.

Read More: How to Use Steam’s Money-Making Machine

4th Commandment: You Go with Tangible Demos or You Are Going to Fail

Selling Your Game Ideas Gamer

A bare idea will lead you nowhere. You have to have visualized material and tangible demos for your ideas. Artworks, 3D animations, video clips, concept art, or even a playable demo could do you some enormous magic.

They have to see you have done something for your idea and took initiative. When they see you have done something practical with your own budget, they will go out of their way when it comes to financial matters.

Even a little display of commitment toward your project can go a long way in the eyes of those whom you are going to depend on, both professionally and financially.

5th Commandment: Don’t Forget About NDA!

Signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) can save the rights to your project and idea. Selling your game idea might end up as giving up your game idea, so be careful what you do before any presentation.
It might end up as a sour taste in their mouths, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Final Words

Ideas are important but with a lot of side things that go with them. As a single form of the representational phenomenon, they are not valuable; but if you show commitment and provide tangible stuff to support your pitch, they can become the valuable thing that is ready to be showcased.

In A Nutshell

  • Ideas Mean Nothing in Game Industry as a Bare Theory: You are not going to get any preferable result if you approach studios and publishers with just an idea. There are numerous ideas out there, but only a few become a real game in the end.
  • It’s All About Execution: Even the most common ideas can be profitable and sellable if they get placed in the right form. Many repetitive ideas are recycled and published by developers and game directors are successful, just because they are being used alongside some new mechanisms.
  • You Have to Present Your Idea Flawlessly: You have to be prepared for what may come your way. Your presentation session is your only shot with a publisher, so you have to take it seriously.
    You should know what you are going to need. You must be realistic about how much manpower, time, and budget you are going to need and inform publishers about them.
  • Don’t get cold feet quickly; it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Take your time and go to publishers who you think might appreciate your project and are like-minded.
  • Provide Tangible Material to Showcase Your Project: An idea needs an extra thing to be presentable. Concept art, artwork, and even a playable demo would work magically in your favor when you are pitching it.
    Your publisher loves to see your commitment and skill and be sure that professional people pay attention to these points.
  • NDA is Your Biggest Ally: Use a non-disclosure agreement to your favor. Your project is your biggest asset and you have to protect it.
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