Spot on: 'Here's the pitch...'

The rights and wrongs of how developers' ideas get turned into games, as dissected by David Jaffe, Ron Gilbert, Lorne Lanning, Will Wright, and more.

by

What do Katamari Damacy, SimCity, and God of War have in common? Besides being big hits for their respective publishers, they also had to overcome setbacks in the pitching process before earning their financial success and critical acclaim.

With the soaring cost of developing games on the latest generation of systems, publishers are forced to pick and choose their games wisely. The pitch is often the first step in a series of evaluations that eventually determines which games get released on shelves and which will never exist outside of a developer's imagination. Not all games need to be pitched (hit sequels and licensed tie-ins most notably), and there are ways around the process for enterprising or daring creators, but pitching is the most common way for developers to realize their original game ideas.

The pitch process can be a harrowing, grueling ordeal or a perfunctory rubber-stamp session, and there's no hard rule of thumb for determining which it will be for any given game. The three aforementioned games all proved to be big hits and spawned franchises for their respective publishers, but none were instantly apparent as home runs from the original pitch.

Katamari Damacy was shot down the first time it was pitched.

"Katamari Damacy was turned down once, the first time," creator Keita Takahashi told GameSpot. "That's the only game I've ever pitched that was turned down. I think the idea was rejected because it's hard to propose something brand-new; as a concept or a game or whatever, that's always going to be difficult. For Katamari especially, it looks so different from everything about a 'normal' title, so I think that was one of the key reasons."

Will Wright actually teamed up twice with Broderbund to publish his seminal metropolitan-management game SimCity. However, in the game's original incarnation on the Commodore 64, Wright couldn't get the publisher interested in SimCity's innovative open-ended structure amid a market stuffed with shoot-'em-ups.

According to Wright, "They kept saying, 'Where's the ending? When do you win or lose?' And they wanted to have an election where you got kicked out of office or not. And I was like, 'No, it's even more fun if you're doing it badly.' And they just parked it. They decided they weren't going to release it."

SimCity was initially shelved because it didn't fall in line with what people expected from games.

Years later, Wright and his new company, Maxis, went back to Broderbund with an updated version of the game and found them more accommodating, in part because the market for games with an older target audience had expanded.

It's not just innovative genre-busters that find difficulty in the pitching process. Former Sony Computer Entertainment America developer and Eat Sleep Play cofounder David Jaffe recalled that people within Sony that initially balked when he pitched his PlayStation 2 blockbuster God of War.

"With God of War, I was crazy passionate about it, and very few people liked it in the pitch form," Jaffe said. "There's a real desire among the powers that be at Sony that innovation is important. I'm just not that kind of designer. I don't care about innovation, I care about entertainment. The feedback I was getting is that this game isn't innovative. I was like, 'So what?' I wasn't a jerk about it, but wouldn't you rather have a game that entertains the crap out of people rather than one that checks off the tick box saying it's innovative?"

God of War went on to sell more than 1.8 million copies in the US alone according to the latest NPD Group figures, spawned a sequel, and became a franchise that Sony is currently extending to the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3. As Jaffe described it, the game was made only because his boss and his boss's boss at Sony had faith in him.

God of War faced skepticism within Sony for its perceived lack of innovation.

However, having a track record of success like Jaffe does--he also worked on Twisted Metal 1, 2, and Twisted Metal: Black--won't always get a developer's pitch approved. As an adventure-gaming icon whose resume includes cherished games such as Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island, Ron Gilbert says his reputation means he can get a meeting with just about anybody, but it stops helping--and can even hurt his chances--once the pitch starts. At least, that's the experience he's had in pitching his latest project to roughly 15 different publishers over the last three-and-a-half years.

"One of the problems I've definitely had pitching stuff is that my name is so firmly associated with adventure games," Gilbert said. "You would mention the words 'adventure game' in a meeting and the meeting was over at that point. They just had no interest in anything that was adventure gaming at all. So even though a big chunk of the game is adventure game-like, I never said those words. I had to spend the first 15 or 20 minutes explaining that I'm not making an adventure game, and that was the beginning of every single meeting it seemed like."

Ron Gilbert is NOT making an adventure game.

Gilbert said 75 percent of the publishers would just turn him down outright, and even the pitch meetings that he said seemed to go really well wouldn't necessarily get him any closer to a publishing deal.

"If you walk out of a pitch meeting and everyone loves your idea, it's still going to get run up many flagpoles at the company," Gilbert said. "Marketing's going to have to buy into it, and there will be a financial analysis of the whole thing. They may love your game, but unless it is just blow-you-away revolutionary, they need to ask themselves how it fits into their product plans for two years down the road."

The reasons that Gilbert received for being turned down have varied. One publisher claimed that it had already been working on something very much like it. Years down the road, Gilbert still hasn't seen such a game from that publisher.

Another publisher actually found the project not costly enough. At one point, the proposed budget for the game was $4 million. The publisher's representatives turned down the project because they didn't believe it possible to make a hit game for that little money.

"What if I'd gone in and asked for $10 million," Gilbert wondered. "Would it suddenly have been OK? It's weird to me that the mindset of a publisher would be that they aren't spending enough money on it. It's also interesting to note that this publisher went out of business about a year and a half ago, so maybe it's not weird."

Gilbert has made a number of hit games, but he's never successfully pitched one.

Although Gilbert is an industry veteran, he technically has never successfully pitched a game. When he worked at LucasArts, the game-creation process was so informal that ideas just became products on their own momentum, he said. Later on at the studios he founded, Humongous Entertainment and Cavedog Entertainment, Gilbert was running the show and didn't need anyone else's approval to get a game made.

Despite difficulties with his reputation for adventure games, fitting into a company's product plans, and not asking for enough money, Gilbert said the single biggest thing keeping his game from being made is the lack of an early prototype for the game.

"Right after that pitch meeting," Gilbert said, "the next thing out of their mouth is, 'Do you have a demo? Do you have a prototype?' And it's very hard, almost impossible, to go to the next phase unless you're prepared to put together a demo or a prototype. And I think that's really too bad, because there's a lot of people who just aren't in a position to do that. And publishers aren't willing to pay for that. They're not willing to put up $100,000 or even $50,000 to have a prototype made. I think if they spent a little more money early on to push projects through those earlier stages, they might get better products because they could cancel things if they weren't coming together in those first few months."

Gilbert's problem is not a new one. In 1994, Lorne Lanning cofounded Oddworld Inhabitants with the goal of building a new brand in the world of games, and maintaining ownership of the intellectual property. He knew he had to have a demo of his first game, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee for the original PlayStation, before any publisher would consider signing on while letting him own the brand.

In 1994, Oddworld Inhabitants managed the rare trick of finding funding and keeping the rights to its franchise.

Lanning found the money for the demo from the world of venture capitalism. The metaphorical multimedia merger of Hollywood and games was generating a lot of buzz at the time, and Lanning said his expertise with 3D graphics as a director and supervisor at the Academy Award-winning Rhythm & Hues visual-effects studio made the fundraising relatively painless.

"If we just went to publishers with an idea, they probably never would have bought it," Lanning said. "That's why we didn't go to publishers first; we went to venture capitalists, and then we built a functioning prototype that looked like the finished game. So I could play that first level, and that spoke for the rest of the game."

Lanning sold a piece of the company to a venture capitalist to raise funds early on, and then bought it back once Abe's Oddysee was on track. Lanning had his demo and the IP, and the investor turned a healthy profit in the process. Unfortunately, Lanning thinks venture capital simply isn't an option for modern startups in the current game-development climate, with few exceptions.

"Console gaming's a losing business for everybody but publishers and big retailers," Lanning said. "No VC's going to look at the console business, because they think it's a broken model as well."

Lorne Lanning had to get a movie deal for Citizen Siege before he could get the game funded on acceptable terms.

Two years ago, Lanning closed the Oddworld Inhabitants studio and shifted it to a production company in preparation of his next project, the upcoming game and film Citizen Siege. He said Electronic Arts wanted to fund the project with a significant amount of money, but insisted on owning the intellectual property. Much as he did a decade ago, Lanning came up with another unorthodox way to get the project made and maintain his ownership. He went out and found funding for the movie first; partners in the film industry were more willing to let him keep control of the brand.

"Now we could go back to publishers with the same game," Lanning said, "but now that there's a movie attached to it with a marketing commitment already behind it, all of a sudden the terms can completely turn over. They've completely changed. Now they want to ride the back of that, because the publisher feels it will see a certain amount of predictable sales as long as it's a quality product."

Developers are not alone in lamenting the difficulty of funding a prototype for a game. As a senior producer at SCEA Santa Monica focusing on external design and development, Rusty Buchert hears a lot of pitches. He has seen the benefits and drawbacks to the process, but the biggest change he'd like to see, much like Gilbert, would be more resources for developers to create functional prototypes for their game ideas.

"That's where we're hurting," Buchert said. "Somebody needs the time to test out this new idea and see if it pans out without committing to a full development process and discovering halfway in that it isn't going to work. Then you have half the development cycle left to try to scramble and put something out, and nobody wins."

Sony had to convince Jonathan Mak that it wouldn't ruin his Everyday Shooter to get it on the PS3.

Such an outcome is bad for the industry, Buchert believes, because it winds up producing bad games that don't deliver on their early promises. This hurts gamers because it produces a game that isn't as good as it could have been, and it makes gamers more apprehensive about buying games in the future because they don't want to get stung twice.

At Eat Sleep Play, Jaffe and cofounder Scott Campbell understand the pressure these days to put together a demo, but caution that if a developer is going to do it, it had better be done right.

"A demo can work against you," Campbell said. "David and I talked and said it would really be great to have a demo for [the next] game we're going to pitch. We could have hacked something together, but we would have been saying, 'This is placeholder, that's placeholder, but you get the idea.' Nowadays, you can't be sure who understands [the concept of] work-in-progress or not. If they just grade it on face value, it better knock their socks off. Otherwise they'll send you packing."

On the other hand, a good showing of what the final game will look like can turn the traditional pitching process upside down. When newcomer Jonathan Mak showed his breakthrough game Everyday Shooter at the Game Developers Conference earlier this year, he had no résumé to speak of--just a nearly finished version of a PC game he made on his own in his spare time and funded with a day job. He enlisted an agent through a friend and fellow developer, which yielded meetings with a number of publishers that Mak described as unproductive.

"Most people wanted to change the graphics or the music," Mak said. "We just ignored those people. Rock bottom for me wasn't signing a terrible deal. Rock bottom for me was just releasing it freeware. If there was no agreeable way to release the game without people messing with it, I just wouldn't do it."

Buchert also had to pitch the developer of fl0w to get the game on the PS3.

After seeing Everyday Shooter at the Game Developers Conference, Buchert found himself in the unusual position of pitching Sony to a developer. He explained that he didn't want to muck with the game, that he wanted to pick it up precisely because of "the magic" that was already there. Buchert said another of his major acquisitions, flOw, also wound up on the PlayStation Network instead of with other publishers because Sony "got it" and convinced the creator that it didn't want to alter the product.

Buchert has been in the industry for 17 years, and has seen the pitching process undergo significant changes in that time. He remembers getting a random phone call one day from a developer working on a new game. Buchert signed a nondisclosure agreement and was mailed a videotaped demo of what became Interplay's 3D shooter Descent, with no formal design document or PowerPoint presentation needed. Sometimes developers didn't even need the videotape to get a game made.

"I remember pitching Twisted Metal to [current SCEA senior VP of marketing] Peter Dille," Jaffe said. "All I said to him was, 'It's this game with cars and they have these guns on them,' and that was all he had to hear. He's like, 'OK, I'm down with that.' And that was the whole pitch for Twisted Metal to get marketing on board. These days it's a little bit more elaborate."

Cars + Guns = Pitch Approved.

However, there's a good reason for more rigorous pitching procedures. With the amount of money at stake now and so many publicly traded publishers answering to shareholders, they need to be sure they're making the wisest bets and getting the best return on their investment in any project. As an example of a game that wouldn't make it through a pitch today, Jaffe points to Dark Guns for the original PlayStation, a cancelled project of his that he said should have been spotted as a problem waiting to happen right from the initial pitch.

"I had come off Twisted Metal 2," Jaffe said. "They gave me a blank check and said, 'Do whatever you want.' Anybody who was looking at $2 million--at the time that was a lot of money--to do an overhead shooter...that should have been a red flag. To have a design document that was 300 pages for anything, let alone an overhead shooter, should have been a red flag. And then being told the producer and the designer was the same person and that person was someone who had never produced a game in his life... All three of these things came up during the pitch. A number of people, including myself, should have said, 'Let's rethink this.'"

In many cases, the revisions proposed or insisted upon during a pitch can change the end product, for better or for worse. Lanning said the feedback he received from Hollywood investors in trying to get the Citizen Siege film made was tremendously intelligent and insightful. For Gilbert's part, he insists he's unwilling to compromise on the fundamental issues of what he wants his game to be, but the feedback he received has certainly changed the project along the way.

"The game went through one gigantic change," Gilbert conceded. "I'd been pitching one story for the thing and I wasn't getting a lot of traction on that, so I changed the story 100 percent. It's still the same gameplay mechanic, still the same adventure role-playing game stuff, but I did do a big change on the story about halfway through. And that was definitely because of some feedback I'd gotten from people."

Like any sales job, pitching is an art, one requiring a skill set that doesn't necessarily overlap with the set that produces good games. At Sony, Jaffe saw the process from both sides: pitching his own games and sitting in on pitches from external developers.

"The key is you have to be in love with what you're pitching," Jaffe said. "If you're in love with it, you're talking about stuff you like and it's just easy."

However, there are plenty of common pitfalls waiting for developers. Beyond getting too deep into the technology behind the game, or gameplay specifics like how to kill a certain boss and hit-point balance, Jaffe said developers at times don't have a good grasp of the moment-to-moment gameplay that will make their game fun.

"I can't tell you how bad most pitches are," Jaffe said. "They send the wrong person in to pitch. They don't plan; they don't prepare."

Preparation is a common theme when it comes to pitch advice. Gilbert said that he never gives the same pitch twice, revising and tweaking it for each recipient based on what his or her concerns will be.

Selling someone on an idea for a game requires the same skills and confidence as selling them on anything else.

"The bigger the publisher, the more I would emphasize why it's going to be successful and why it's targeting successful segments of the market," Gilbert said. "With smaller publishers, I go more into what's going to be different and unique about it. They tend to be more interested in those things because they're trying to stand out a little more than the big publishers."

Noting how much of a game's budget is determined by the marketing department's enthusiasm for a pitch, Lanning half-jokingly suggested taking that preparation a step further.

"Find out who the whole marketing team is at the publisher," Lanning said. "Take them out for martinis and a killer night, or even pay to fly them out to Hawaii or something. Then sit around and ask them what is it that they would like to sell. What is it you would feel comfortable selling? What kind of game would you back in a second? And then once you have all that information, go home and design a game and go pitch it to that publisher. That's the best way to get a game pitched and approved today."

Regardless of how a pitch is prepared, it still needs to be delivered properly. Jaffe said that sending a developer with an air of desperation to make the case for a game benefits nobody.

"People come into pitches and they're anxious and worried, and it's like, 'Help me, Obi-Wan, you're my only hope.' You have to go into a pitch proud of your ideas and prepared and passionate," Jaffe said. "And if they don't get it, they don't get it. There are other fish in the sea."

Contrary to royal belief, Obi-Wan actually isn't your only hope.

Independent developers face significant pressure to get deals that keep their employees paid and their operations afloat. However, just because a developer is under the employ of a publisher doesn't mean the stakes going into a pitch are any less.

"When you're internal, you definitely have to pick your battles," Jaffe said, "and ask, 'Is this something I want to give over to [my publisher]?' Because if they do shoot it down and you don't get to make it, the contracts that you sign when you become an employee of a publisher say that even though they don't make it, they own it. There are probably four or five ideas I pitched to Sony over my 13-year career that I'd love to have back and make on my own now that we're independent, but it doesn't work that way. Those are Sony properties now."

As the industry grows and changes, the pitching process has adapted to fit new trends. Having helped bring games such as Everyday Shooter and flOw to a broader audience, Buchert said that the landscape is changing for the industry, which in turn affects what games are going to be pitched and approved in the coming years.

"In some regards, I view what I'm doing as training people for the future," Buchert said. "It's going to be about digital delivery. For me, it's about winding back the clock 13 or 14 years to having small teams, focusing on fun... You can take some risks without the threat of completely burning down the company."

Gilbert has also noticed some changes in what publishers want to hear of late. He said that when he first started pitching his current project, they wanted only "high-testosterone, guy-in-a-trench-coat-with-a-gun" games.

The smaller budgets of downloadable games like those on the Xbox Live Marketplace are enabling developers to get riskier or more unusual pitches approved.

"A lot of that's changed, and I give a lot of that credit to the Nintendo Wii," Gilbert said. "It came out and was not a high-end graphics machine. It was very fun and very different. And it's selling better than the Xbox 360 right now. And I think it has really caused publishers to look at that market differently and be more open to entertaining ideas that aren't just high-end rendered graphics."

And though Jaffe's own perception has shifted with his move to independent development, he's seeing changes in the industry well beyond his own studio.

"It's important not to paint this story like there are these gatekeepers to your idea and if these eight guys or women say no, you're f*****," Jaffe said. "The great thing about video games is that there are all of these great success stories of independent games and developers going off and doing it on their own as a mod, or doing a demo and getting funding. While this is certainly the easiest way to get your game made, it's not the only game in town. And with a lot of independent financing that's beginning to crop up in games, I don't see that as being as important as it once was. It's not easy, but options to get your game made are getting easier."

For more anecdotes of games that never made it from the pitch to final production, check out the GameSpot News Sidebar.

Discussion

162 comments
Cloud737
Cloud737

Great article! I must say that I'm more enlightened now that I've read it. :D I'm also partially sad, seeing the sorry state the game industry is in. Well, sorry state if you look at it from the perspective of game creation and how many great games we may have missed for ever. I must say I certainly laughed when I read that a publisher turned down Gillbert's pitch because they weren't spending enough money on it. It's like they would enjoy wasting lots of money and that it's of no importance to them to cut down costs on development cycles whilst still preserving (or increasing) quality. They certainly deserve to go bankrupt with that kind of mindset. I full-heartedly wish them a "R.I.P (Rest in Pieces :P)"! :D In the future, I hope the industry will be more indy-friendly, and more open that it is now. Less preconceptions (biases), less megalithic, arrogant behavior, less retarded and less greedy (yeah, right!) than it is now. For instance, to exemplify the last part of the previous statement, I wouldn't legally allow publishers to write in their employment contracts that they will own any pitched IP (idea) even if they don't make it, because they'll most probably just forget about the idea, never make anything with it, but they'd still like to keep it in their portfolio just to feel more comfortable and full. We gamers lose in the end here, because we'll likely never see the great games that may have came from these ideas, all because the publishers are greedy and want to own more. Anyway, I'm hopeful and (somewhat) confident for the future of the gaming industry to be a bright one. I myself am planning on being an indy developer just for the fun of it, even if I wouldn't make much or even any money off it (as I'm planning on making it free to everyone and just accept donations if people are willing). Let's hope for the best future possible! :D

mmogoon
mmogoon

I kinda skipped through it a bit :oops:, but from what I saw a quality article.

Video_Tycoon
Video_Tycoon

Interesting...*dreams of sucsessfully pitching a video game* Hey, its possible!

RRiLLA
RRiLLA

did anyone start to notice that david jaffe curses in every sentence... i wonder how many curses he has said in his entire life he probably goes through more f words a day then the entire scarface movie did

DeskLazer
DeskLazer

I LOVE ron gilbert. please make a monkey island 5! but this is a fantastic article. I think the wii is helping create more crazy games (thank you for bringing nights to the next-gen!) I'd really like to see more creative pc games though. and for EA not to screw us on sports games anymore. I haven't bought a madden/nhl/fifa/etc. since 2002 because of this (but bought everything from 1989 (yes, lakers vs. celtics, ski or die, and such) onward until then). pc gamers are people too! also, screw the people that say 'gamespot didn't write an article since dec 20, boo hoo' you guys have lives too. happy new year, fellas. and thanks for showing an article that gives us all a little hope.

DeskLazer
DeskLazer

I LOVE ron gilbert. please make a monkey island 5! but this is a fantastic article. I think the wii is helping create more crazy games (thank you for bringing nights to the next-gen!) I'd really like to see more creative pc games though. and for EA not to screw us on sports games anymore. I haven't bought a madden/nhl/fifa/etc. since 2002 because of this (but bought everything from 1989 (yes, lakers vs. celtics, ski or die, and such) onward until then). pc gamers are people too! also, screw the people that say 'gamespot didn't write an article since dec 20, boo hoo' you guys have lives too. happy new year, fellas. and thanks for showing an article that gives us all a little hope.

DeskLazer
DeskLazer

I LOVE ron gilbert. please make a monkey island 5! but this is a fantastic article. I think the wii is helping create more crazy games (thank you for bringing nights to the next-gen!) I'd really like to see more creative pc games though. and for EA not to screw us on sports games anymore. I haven't bought a madden/nhl/fifa/etc. since 2002 because of this (but bought everything from 1989 (yes, lakers vs. celtics, ski or die, and such) onward until then). pc gamers are people too! also, screw the people that say 'gamespot didn't write an article since dec 20, boo hoo' you guys have lives too. happy new year, fellas. and thanks for showing an article that gives us all a little hope.

drownafish
drownafish

While it is harsh to reject all those great games, I guess you can't blame publishers since you never really know if it's gonna be a good game. hell, I know I'd be pretty skeptical if I worked for a publishing company. :P Nice article. :D

Gamer_152
Gamer_152

Great article. Hard to know what the guys funding Twisted Metal were thinking but maybe they were just taking a bit of a risk.. Just on an idea they knew nothing about and had no clue how to make. The God of War pitch was interesting as well, for a while 'innovation' was (and probably still is) Sony's buzz word although in my opinion it does seem that Sony is much more of a pure entertainment company than a company about creating new things (I even remember them once refering to innovation as putting TV shows on your handheld console, not the craziest idea ever). Really I think the best part of everything writen here is what Gilbert and Buchert had to say and I do agree that companies would benefit from listening to what they have to say.

Nintendus21
Nintendus21

santiagochile "Why the f*** is this still on the front page, the aticle was written weeks ago, jesus gamestop, stop being lazy and get to work. Your most recent article should not say Dec. 20 on Dec. 31. You people are beyond worthless." Did you forget that they are on break? Read the Happy Holidays article. And it's GameSPOT.

dannyodwyer
dannyodwyer staff

great read. more of the same GS :)

realitysux21
realitysux21

Yeah they have enough on their minds....

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

Now, granted this is an interesting article and all that, but maybe it is time for Gamespot to put something new out as their top news spot? This is almost two weeks old now.

SoY_FooD2
SoY_FooD2

santiagochile u dum ass. its gameSPOT en not gameSTOP. en let them have some spare time to, u slave driver.

anubis5400
anubis5400

well s#$% head the gamespot guys have a life unlike you so their at home for the holidays

santiagochile
santiagochile

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Guib
Guib

I definitely like the new direction that comes from the trend to develop small episodic games downloadable from the Internet or directly to a console. This gives some of the power back to the developpers who can take greater risks at a lower cost. I guess we'll be able to see where it goes from there...

Buttduck
Buttduck

It's exactly what Screenwriters have to do in the movie business...pitch their vision to producers till someone finally buys in.

RockMFR
RockMFR

This is a great article.

teh_leeto
teh_leeto

wow i read all that. that was long. good, but long.

chimera_maz
chimera_maz

It's a fantastic game and passion in this game

eyerok
eyerok

They dare reject Don Gilbert!!!! Idiots!

nycpunjabii
nycpunjabii

One big problem is that the pitch focuses on the idea and story but has nothing to do with execution. What if the developer's idea isn't that special but they're really talented in making exciting fun games. There needs to be more focus on gameplay in the pitches - demos should be a MUST.

okassar
okassar

The publishers have a reason to be skeptical,IT'S THEIR MONEY!!!!!!!Before putting some money down on a game,they have to be sure that it's a HIT.Well,if they don't think it'ws a hit,the hell with it.Sure,God of War was a big money rake,but was that what it was before it was made?No.And if the developer can't CONVINCE the publisher their game is worth it,than what makes them stand out from all the other developers and what makes them credible enough for the money,THAT'S BUSINESS.All you need to care about is that the developers don't go sit in a corner and cry,but,like most of the time, find a publisher that's willing to work with them.

msudude211
msudude211

Nice article - very informative. :)

heroface
heroface

too much information... brain explosion activated... WAIT! whay don't they (devs) just take the top 10 ideas at the end of each month and post them on their company website for fan scrutiny that way REALLY RANDOM but GOOD games will make it to the shelves instead of being turned away by the cheese that don't even play games

flackstone
flackstone

I think its interesting to see that some people are just bone-headed when it comes to seeing something great. this is true but lets say there are 5 out of 10 of the games are good ideas so lets say its simcity and uhh halo the companys would look at both these games and decide what to chose becasue they only have a certan amount of man power and amount of money they can put on a game so the have to look at what is going on in the industry and what people are playing. If they took all the game ideas there personal would be streached verry thin and games would never be released not to mention buggy thats why they have to select a few games that will make money.

chadw_genx
chadw_genx

That was a really informative and entertaining read - sweet 'n thanks! Killed some boredom @ work!

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Heh, I can just imagine what the pitch for Katamari must've been like, "So, we have this king, except he's REALLY REALLY HUGE, and he's an alcoholic, and destroys all the stars, so he has his son, except his son is REALLY REALLY SMALL, to go roll up pieces of Earth with a sticky ball to make new stars. Sounds good, right?" :P But I'm curious as to what are the 10 ideas that are rejected for every single one that's published. I'm willing to bet some of them would actually be really good.

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

The big companies of todays developers allow for much bigger budgets for games in development, but once a company gets to EA or Activision-Vivendi size, there's less of a chance of branching out and trying something new with some weight behind it for fear of a game people won't percievably like.

playa42018
playa42018

They don't tell you about the 10 failed ideas per the 1 successful game.

Cracktacularq
Cracktacularq

Good read. The giant publishers (a/k/a the evil empire) have had a tremendous run. They've almost completely wiped out the little guy. Hopefully the popularity of the Wii and digital distribution will shake things up and help even the playing field by making it cheaper to develop and distribute games. A developer shouldn't have to be a good salesman to get a great game made.

itBit
itBit

thank god i have the gift of convincing ppl :)

maverick_76
maverick_76

I think its interesting to see that some people are just bone-headed when it comes to seeing something great. Just look at HP and Steve Wozniak (sp.); they turned down his idea of a PC with a screen and now we have Apple because of it. I find it funny that companies seem to put the most inept people in some of the most important positions, but I guess people like having their butts kissed instead of making money.

LauLS
LauLS

Consist a lot gaming facts

Jebril
Jebril

This was a great read Gamespot! :]

bulletproofz12
bulletproofz12

"it's about cars, with guns on them." end of pitch. brilliant! XD

Neosword
Neosword

Very interesting, love to see more articles like this. Way to go GS.

SaxxyGamer18
SaxxyGamer18

Intriguing. You know, God of War isn't innovative or interesting, and Katamari is incredibly stupid. I'm not sure why they're very popular. Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus is one of my favorite PSone games, though. It's funny to see how closed-minded developers were back in the old days. That's why Nintendo was such a success - they were willing to be different.