19 Feb 2009

How to sell a game concept?

You have worked hard on a game and now it is finished. You want to get your brilliant idea in a box and you do not know how...

It is not as difficult as you might think.

Here, for the first time, I explain how you must proceed. It works well, as I can testify. Even better, it works always if you follow exactly the following steps.

Step 1 : Identify a publisher which might be interested in your concept.

Step 2 : Send a brief description of the game to the big boss. Do not waste your time with employees. You go for the quick hit.

Wait a week.

Step 3 : As you got no answer, call the boss to check if he got your description. He will say "no" (which means that he has thrown away your description) and you tell him that you will send your brilliant idea right away. Hang up the phone before he can say "no" again.

Step 4 : Send your game and wait 3 months.

Step 5 : Call the boss again and ask him when he is going to publish your game. He will answer : "I'm very sorry, but I passed your game to the "chief game concept acquisition manager" and I got no feedback yet. He will contact you as soon as he has some info." In fact, his wife (who is also his secretary) has intercepted your game and she has tried to put your box on top of the shelf, which resulted in an avalanche of not-evaluated gameboxes. Several components were mixed, but she managed to fill up the boxes again as "equal" as possible.

Six months later...

Step 6 : You get your game (at least some components) back with the message "Unfortunately, the game does not fit into our collection. We wish you luck...".

Step 7 : On a game fair where your publisher has a booth, you decide to launch your secret weapon : your attractive girlfriend will force a breakthrough. The meeting lasts long. You start to panic and see her (in your mind) performing a lap-dance in front of the boss. Of course, you must accept some sacrifice and you wait the outcome of the meeting. At your surprise, the guy who is smiling at your girlfriend when she is leaving the meeting box, is not the boss, but his son. The whippersnapper.

Step 8 : Next year, you change your tactics. Seduction has not worked. Therefore, you invest in strong-arm methods. Flanked by 2 friends (recruited among the doorkeepers of your local dancing), you arrive in force at the booth of your favourite publisher. You ask with a calm and self-assured voice to the pretty lady at the reception desk : "How do you like my game?". She answers : "I don't know. I will ask the boss." When the boss arrives, he answers to your question (after looking in the eyes of your 2 fellows) : "Very interesting, I will have a second look."

Step 9 : Next year, you still have no news of your game. By despair, you participate at a game designer's contest. By chance, you get the first price among 200 competitors.

Step 10 : A week later, you get a phone call from your friend (the boss) : "Your game is brilliant and I take it. Why did you never showed it to me before?". You are too astonished to find the right answer and stammer : "Thank you very much, mister. I do no know what to say, mister".

Conclusion : To sell your game idea, you just need to have one publisher who finds that your game is brilliant. It might take a few years, but who cares...

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