Former Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Strategic Content Director Shahid Kamal Ahmad was responsible for working with Sony on reaching out to third party developers, particularly independent third party developers, on securing games and content for PlayStation. Today on Twitter, he decided to discuss what successful game pitches should be like- and since he was sitting on the other side of pitches for so long, aspiring game developers should probably take heed, particularly if they are looking at targeting PlayStation with their games.
Ahmad noted that pitches should be short, audacious,and fun, and only focus on one selling point that will differentiate the game, and gain it the most attention. He pointed out that developers should try to have personal contacts to approach a publisher for as pitch- this builds trust and bypasses a lot of the hassle inherent to the process. If there is an absence of these contacts, they should have a reputation for excellent, Ahmad added.
Ahmad also got into some specifics- while one should be professionally dressed for a pitch, one should also be comfortable. So you shouldn’t show up in beach shorts and loafers, but you also don’t have to wear a suit if that doesn’t make you comfortable. The vertical slices used for the pitch should generally not be over a minute long, though he did note that a strong beginning means that the overall time for the slice can be pushed upward.
So, if there are any independent (or otherwise) game developers out there, looking at pitching their game to Sony (or anyone else) some time- follow Ahmad’s advice! As the dude who probably sat through countless pitches, he probably knows what he is talking about.