AEG is ready to begin scheduling pitch meetings for GenCon 2017!
Well that escalated quickly! As of Thursday August 3rd all the pitch meeting slots have been filled. We have opened a Waiting List for people who want to register to take any open times that become available during the show.
Like last year, we’re going to be using a shared Google Sheet to facilitate this process. To schedule a pitch session with AEG, claim one of the open slots on our schedule, provide us with your name and a contact email address, and we’ll be expecting you at the scheduled time!
Last year we did all the pitches in our booth on the exhibit floor. This year we’re trying something a bit different. We have arranged for a hotel room close to the exhibit floor and we’re going to take the pitch meetings in that room. It should be quieter and less subject to interruptions than working from the exhibit hall.
Our pitch room will be in the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station. This hotel is directly connected to the convention center via an overhead walkway just outside the exhibit room. If you stand at the AEG booth with your back to the wall of the exhibit room, and Paizo’s booth on your left, you will want to walk left, and find the exit on the left side of the hall. Exiting, you’ll turn right, and see an overhead walkway leading out of the convention center. You’ll need to walk up a flight of stairs to get to the walkway. Taking that walkway leads right into the Crowne Plaza. Inside the hotel, take the first right, and you’ll be in the hallway with our pitch room. We will update you with the specific room number when it’s assigned.
If for any reason we have a change of plans we will email you to let you know where your pitch meeting will be held. We promise not to move it to the other side of Indianapolis without any warning!
We’ll be asking you some boilerplate questions about your pitch:
- What is the general theme or story
- Who are you (in the game who do you represent)
- What do you do as you play
- How do you win
- What is the unique feature of your game that makes it different from all the others
- What are you offering for sale:
- Just the game
- The game plus art & graphic design
- All that and more!
- What territories are you offering:
- Something else
- Who owns the game and has the right to make a deal
It will take you about 15 minutes to make a pitch. We won’t play your game from start to finish but we would like you to show us what you’ve got in terms of boards, components, player aids, etc. We’d like to have you show us the basic mechanic of the game. We’ll have questions and you’ll have questions too and that 15 minutes will pass very quickly.
If you have more than 2 games to pitch us, or if you think one of your pitches will take longer than 15 minutes, it’s ok to book two consecutive slots. Please don’t book more than 2.
Please be prepared to provide us with (and leave us with) a sell sheet that summarizes your game, has your contact information (especially including a contact email address), and includes any legal information we need to know (such as what rights you’re offering, what territory you’re offering, etc.)
We may ask your permission to take pictures of your game or record all or part of your pitch. You can refuse without prejudicing our review. We use these materials to keep track of the pitches we’ve seen and to prepare games for further internal review. The more info we have, the easier it is for us to make a decision about working with your game.
If you can leave a prototype or sample of your game with us that can also be helpful. If not, it won’t be prejudicial to your pitch. We understand prototyping is expensive (and sometimes almost impossible).
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
AEG’s strategy for the next several years is to focus on making 4-6 new games a year. We’d like those games to have a retail price point between $30 and $60. We are intent on making games that capitalize on our strengths in design, development and manufacturing. We want to make games that would be hard for new entrants or inexperienced publishers to get right.
We like games that have a clear path to expansions. There are two kinds of expansions that we like. Games that have at least 3-5 expansions that add components and systems to the game, like the expansions we’re making for Mystic Vale. And games that have an unlimited potential for expansions based on adding new components to a base game without adding complexity, like Smash Up. Of the two, we prefer the latter but it’s one of the hardest design challenges so we don’t expect most games to be able to follow that path.
We are no longer seeking new micro games or small games designed to be played quickly or have low price points.
We are not looking for party games or games that are primarily designed to appeal to a mass market audience.
Our ideal game has a clearly identifiable market in the core hobby market, but also has the potential to be taken into the specialty and mass market if it is a big success in the core market. And example would be Settlers of Catan. Our theory of sales is that if we can make a hit in the core we have a chance to sell into wider markets, but without success in the core first, AEG doesn’t have an opportunity in those wider markets.
We have seen pretty much every variation on games that feature elves, orcs, dwarves, humans, a clash between good races and evil races, a terrible godlike evil threat in the background, and a need for heroes to save the day. We will be happy to hear your pitch in this genre, but know that the odds are seriously stacked against you in terms of finding something novel to do in this space.
Areas of our portfolio that are currently weak that we’re interested in strengthening:
- Worker placement games
- Science fiction games
- Horror games
- Games with non-fantasy settings
- Legacy games
- Puzzle solving games
- Military strategy
- Economic simulations
These are of course just a few of the areas we’re looking at. And we’re really hoping to be surprised by novel and unexpected pitches that make us think “you know, this game could be a real hit ….”
Games we’re not currently expecting to greenlight for development:
- Collectible card games
- 2 player competitive games
- Miniatures wargames
- Party games
- Games for kids
- Educational games
- Abstract games
Of course sometimes a game in a category we’re not enthused about might blow us away. Sakura Arms, for example, is a 2 player competitive game that we saw in Japan and think might have a unique style and beauty appealing to an audience in the US and European markets, so we’re publishing it. You never know what might connect with us so please don’t feel like the above list is a list of things we don’t want to see pitched. Just know that the bar is very very high.
The link to our signup system is:
The meeting times on Wednesday are by appointment only. If you need to pitch on Wednesday, please email email@example.com and we’ll work to set up a time for a pitch.
Last year we saw an incredible selection of games and we reviewed more than 70 pitches. One of those pitches became our first major hit of 2017, The Captain is Dead. We pursued two other games that we saw and weren’t able to come to terms with the designers but we’re sure they’ll be hits for their eventual publishers. We are selecting games now that will be released starting in the first quarter of 2019, and we hope that one of your pitches will be one of those games.
Looking forward to seeing you in Indy!