At a recent video game summit, my email inbox overflowed with messages from developers asking for meetings. Although that sort of influx is normal for an industry event, I was surprised by the number of emails that simply read, “I have a great game, we should meet” or “Hey, I have an idea for a game.” 

As with any publisher, we have busy schedules. Our days are packed with meetings, production calendars, marketing new titles, and scouting promising games, so vague emails with short messages are rarely intriguing enough to warrant a response. If you’re interested in cutting through the noise of an inbox filled with pitches, take a thoughtful approach in writing your introductory emails. 

Writing to Publishers

Publishers receive thousands of emails each week. Don’t send them a novel. Instead, focus on the critical details. To ensure your email gets read, include these features:

  1. A descriptive subject line. Write a subject line that makes your game sound compelling. Remember: Publishers are bombarded with emails every day, so do something to stand out. For Bite the Bullet, an RPG side-scrolling shooter with a robust eating mechanic, a suitable subject line could be “The World’s First Run, Gun, and Eat” or “Contra Meets Competitive Eating.” Sometimes, as with our contact form, you won’t have the option to customize your subject line. In these cases, it’s okay to not include one.   
  2. A gameplay video. Your video is the most important part of your email because it gives the publisher a deeper understanding of your game and its mechanics at a glance. While a trailer is useful, even a few short scenes are helpful to the publisher. If you don’t have a polished YouTube video to share, a Google Drive or Dropbox link is acceptable.
  3. A brief description of the game. Think about how you would write your game description on Steam. That’s the perfect length for the blurb inside your email. Your description should pop just like your email subject line, highlighting what makes the game appealing.
  4. A list of the game’s unique features. A bulleted list is best since you can include large amounts of information without overwhelming the publisher.
  5. A pitch deck. A pitch deck is a nice touch, but it’s not necessary to share in an intro email. A pitch deck shows a deeper level of thought around what you need from the publisher, and this is something a publisher will ask to see during or after a meeting.

Someone typing an email

A Sample Email

We receive email pitches all the time, and some of them stand out better than others. Here’s a look at the email we received from Blazing Stick, the developer behind Cyber Hook

Hello Graffiti Games!

We are looking for a publisher for our new game CyberHook! We read that keeping it short was better so:

CyberHook is a 3D – fast paced – grappling hook platformer

Rush through retrowave themed levels and try to escape this digital world by beating all levels!

Here is a Gif:

https://media.giphy.com/media/OqJigWTSNPKCAyfpJ7/giphy.mp4 

Here is a trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX5_cWE-SxQ 

Here is a build:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Laqd_EFup7zUcyCBjE9AvgwPOEi_9RoS/view 

– The game is still under development,

We have planned for 6 more months of work to polish the game, rework the tutorial and add levels.

– The project is SELF-FUNDED, but we need your help publishing it.

We’d love to hear back from you.

Thank you for your time,

Théo

From the BlazingStick Team 🙂

The Blazing Stick team didn’t have a catchy subject line because they reached out through our contact form, but they checked nearly every other box. They provided an exciting gameplay video and additional assets, they wrote a brief but thorough description, and they squeezed their features list into their YouTube video.

A Thoughtful Approach is Worth the Effort

Publishers are busy professionals who receive dozens and sometimes hundreds of pitches a day. Make sure your pitch stands out. By delivering the right information in a concise format, you increase the chances of publishers reviewing your content and reaching out for a meeting.