Can You Sell Game Ideas To Companies?

Almost everyone who has played a game has an idea for a game. Whether it is a change for that one bit you hate in your favorite game or a whole new game idea that nobody has ever even considered. But what can you do with all of these ideas? Can you sell your game ideas to companies and get a cut? Perhaps you would be happy to give them the ideas for free, just so that you could play them. Unfortunately, almost everyone has an idea, including those already working at games companies. If companies need one they will most often go to employees for ideas, in fact, many companies hire teams of people for just this reason.

Is It At All Possible To Sell An Idea?

It shouldn’t be ruled out entirely, but the chances are so slim that it’s not worth hedging your bets on. You really need to have an understanding of the development side of the industry and to be able to show exactly how it will work. A good analogy would be that if you had an idea for a blockbuster movie, you wouldn’t approach Warner Brothers or Steven Spielberg and tell him about this idea where a superhero battles aliens on Mars. At a minimum, you would need a script as well as some connections before you can start gathering funding and talking to actors about getting the project started. It’s similar in games, although quite different.

Can you sell game ideas to companies with just an idea?
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

How To Sell Your Game Ideas

If you are serious about getting your game idea out into the world, you have a few choices. The best one will require a lot of work and goes beyond just trying to sell an idea. That option is to make the game or at least a demo. This is a lot of work, but if the idea is good then something that is mocked up quickly such as games that are made in 48-hour game jams could be enough to get you going. If you can show how good your game is with a small segment then it’s possible to get a publisher involved who will fund or even run the project for you. They may even pay to get another company to come in and make the game. In fact, this is what I have spend a decent chunk of my career doing, taking half finished games from indie developers and making them full, multi-platform releases.

Another option available these days is to drum up a fan base that prove the game will be successful if released. This will interest publishers and help get them involved in the same way as mentioned before. This audience could be anywhere, on social media for example, or if you already have an online following that’s loyal that can work as well.

Someone making an early prototype to try to sell their game idea.
Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Possibly the best way is to start a following is to start a Kickstarter campaign. This shows that people both want the game and are willing to drop money on it, which is all the incentive a publisher needs. The downside is to get any traction with potential fans you will need to show a clear plan and have example work or demos. You will also need to make sure you have realistic goals and plans so that you can follow through on your promises or risk damaging your chances.

It’s hard, and not many people will make it, but it is absolutely possible if you put the work in.