How to Email Game Publishers (1/5)

How to Email Game Publishers (1/5)

Reaching out to game publishers is hard. And unless you've done it before, this awkward ballet can favor the publisher. This video is the first in a series of 5 that will take you through the process of reaching out to your first publisher through the final negotiations.

Of course, every game, developer, publisher, and deal will be unique so what follows is a guide, not a template. If you take nothing else from this video, I want you to remember that you are bringing value to the table.

Obviously, I think this video is best consumed from start to finish, because there's an order to all of this. But if you want to drill into something specific, here are chapter links and brief descriptions for your convenience 😄

Understanding Your Value (1:10)

It's easy to feel like the publisher is holding all the cards, but they wouldn't engage with you if they didn't think you have something of value to them. Remember this throughout the process so that you don't undersell yourself. Be confident, not arrogant.

Tip #1 Have an Answer to "Why Us?" (2:39)

Publishers hear thousands of pitches a year. One great way to stand out is to be able to tell this publisher why you reached out to them specifically. Did you hear good things from a mutual contact. Do they seem to specialize in your genre? Putting some thought into the publishers you select goes a LONG way.

Tip #2 Don't BCC Blast Publishers (4:34)

Few things turn a publisher off as quickly as seeing your email in the TO field and their in the BCC. Don't do this.

Tip #3 Make Critical Info Easy to Find (5:33)

The more someone has to dig through your email or the files you've provided to find the good stuff, the less likely the'll be to write you back. When there's a stack of options, always strive to be the easiest, most obvious one to choose.

Tip #4 It's OK to Be Yourself (7:22)

Reaching out publishers (or anyone, for that matter) to whom you've spoken can be intimidating... especially if you have to ask them for money. So it can be easy to stiffen up or be overly formal. Publishers want to see the real you, so be yourself! You work in games, after all, so have some fun with it!

Tip #5 Be Patient but Don't Be Afraid to Follow Up (8:53)

The waaaaiiiittinng is the harrddest part (R.I.P. Tom Petty). If you haven't heard back after a week or two, it's OK to follow up. Be polite and keep it brief. A good tactic is to say that you just want to be able to set accurate expectations for the rest of your team. This approach is much better than simply "hey, any update" (which is an actual email I've gotten from a developer before, if you can believe it)

Up Next: Creating Your Pitch Deck

The next video in the series covers how to craft a pitch deck that publishers will respond to. You can check that out here:

Creating the Pitch Deck for Your Indie Game
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