Writing an email to video game press


1. Have a really good/interesting/odd game

Everything else is built upon this core element.

2. Attention grabbing subject line

I usually use the subject line description.  The shorter the subject line the better, I recommend trying to stay as close as possible to using only one word for each descriptor. It is name, not common adjective, most important noun of the game, common verb to the game, game genre.
For example:
Pan Blast Experience – a humorous cookware matching tactical role-playing game.
Pan Blast Experience (Name ) – a humorous (adjective); cookware (noun); matching (verb); tactical role-playing game (genre)

3. Say Hi

Any greeting with the editor name.

4. Game Description

a) Name of game and genre/type

Gives the editor a rough idea of the game mechanics.

b) Most fun/coolest/interesting/unique thing about the game.

What makes it interesting and what are the key features of it? Does it have interesting game play mechanics, multiplayer, a unique graphical style etc

c) Who are you playing in the game and what is your mission.

This provides the editor some context.Also consider to give an example of an usual game scene in the game.

5. Release DatePricePlatform

Mention release date (or current development stage)price and the platforms the game will be available for.Also distribution methods (direct and/or via distribution platform like Steam)

6. Media Assets

Provide direct links to your website, videos, screenshots, demo etc. This makes it easier for the editor.

a) Screenshots

Create nice screenshots that show interesting aspects of the game. Make sure they are large, it’s much easier to scale down than up

b)  Video

Record a video that shows interesting game play bits so editors can see the game in action. Kert Gartner wrote a very comprehensive piece about this topic called “making entertaining and engaging video game trailers”.

c) Demo

Screenshots and videos only allow the editor to say “the game might be great” whereas a demo allows him to say “the game is great”.Since editors want to feature quality stuff, a demo helps them to find out whether or not a game holds up to the trailer/game-play video.

7. Sending Full Version?

Consider to simply send the full version to them right away and don’t let them ask for it. By letting the editor ask for the full version it puts them in some kind of a beggar situation. They might just think “Never mind…I think I will pass and just check out the next game that has been sent to me. There are many other games to review…”Exception: If you should only have a very limited amount of codes to give away (XBLA/XBLIG) then mention that because of the scarcity of the codes you can only send out codes to those who are interested.

8. Social Proof

If available include links to reviews and meaningful quotes from players/press for social proof.When journalists see that you have a game that was recommended by trusted source xyz, the chances that they take a look at your game are significantly increased.
In case the editor that you are contacting has already covered your game when it was still in development tell him that much has happened since the initial coverage and that the game is now finally released (refer to that older article).Also should you release a new game and the editor has already reviewed previous game from you, do provide a link to that review. Chances are that he/she might find your new game interesting as well.

9. Past Experience

If possible mention previous games/projects that you were involved in.Ideally the editor goes “Ah, nice… it’s a new game from developer x.Loved his previous game so I need to check his new game out asap”Moreover if you should have worked on AAA games in the past or collaborated for indie game x or another interesting project in the past mention it also.

10. Interviews?

Offer to be open for questions and also let him/her know if you are available for an interview (or someone else from your team).

11. Valediction

Consider to end your mail with a proper valediction such as“sincerely……” “regards…..” “best….” “cheers…”


1. Interesting Game

Context: We are informing John from PC Gaming Site X about the fictivearcade platformer “Super Pump Master’s Quest”

2. Subject Line

Subject line: Super Pump Master’s Quest – chaotic vacuum cleanerplatform action

3. Say Hi

Hi John,

4. Game Description

My name is Simon and I have just released my second PC game called“Super Pump Master’s Quest“. It is a chaotic and fast paced single screenplatformer where you are equipped with a vacuum cleaner. It offersclassic arcade gameplay that mixes elements from Dig Dug, TumblePopand Bubble Bobble.
You play a hungry fellow whose mission is to clean all the levels from  theenemies with the help of a powerful vacuum cleaner. Some enemies aretoo big for the vacuum cleaner though and thus need to be pushed into abig machine at the bottom of the screen.  This machine converts theminto powerups, weapons and useful items.
Gameplay is like this: 

jump around, collect powerups, convert enemies into powerups, weaponsand items. Fight big bosses at the end of each world.

various graphic modes (HD, pixelated, neon…)
-1-4 players (co-op or competitive)
-powerup your vacuum cleaner
-collect various items (pogo stick, grappling hook…)
-enter rage mode when eating too less
-get super powers from special food

5. Release Date, Price, Platform

Release Date: 30.07.2012Price: 10$Platform: PC / MacAvailable direct from Homepage and via Steam

6. Media Assets

Link to Screenshots
Link to Video
Link to Demo

7. Full Version

Link to Full Version (or Review Code)

8Social Proof I

“Great tribute to the arcade era with a hungry main character”. (GamingMagazine XYZ)-Link to Review

9. Past Experience. Social Proof II and mention of previous work

I was also involved in the development of the sidescrolling arcade brawler“Mrs. Squeezypips strikes back” which was recommended by GamingMagazine XYZ. They quite liked it: “Rusty Mrs. Squeezypips beats downhordes of baddies with her rolling pin of justice in this hilarious arcadebrawler!”-Link to Review

10. Interview

In case you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.I’m also open for an interview.

11. Valediction



Subject line: 

Super Pump Master’s Quest – chaotic vacuum cleanerplatform action


Hi John,

My name is Simon and I have just released my second PC game called“Super Pump Master’s Quest“. It is a chaotic and fast paced single screen platformer where you are equipped with a vacuum cleaner. It offers classic arcade game play that mixes elements from Dig Dug, Tumble Pop and Bubble Bobble.

You play a hungry fellow whose mission is to clean all the levels from the enemies with the help of a powerful vacuum cleaner. Some enemies are  too big for the vacuum cleaner though and thus need to be pushed into a big machine at the bottom of the screen.  This machine converts them into powerups, weapons and useful items.

Gameplay is like this: Jump around, collect powerups, convert enemies into powerups, weapons and items. Fight big bosses at the end of each world.

various graphic modes (HD, pixelated, neon…)
-1-4 players (co-op or competitive)
-powerup your vacuum cleaner
-collect various items (pogo stick, grappling hook…)
-enter rage mode when eating too less
-get super powers from special food
Release Date: 30.07.2012
Price: 10$
 PC / MacAvailable direct from Homepage and via Steam
Screenshots: www.game.com/screenshots
Video: www.game.com/videotrailer

Steam Code:1234-5678-9123-4567

“Great tribute to the arcade era with a hungry main character”.  GamingMagazinexyz.com
I was also involved in the development of the sidescrolling arcade brawler“Mrs. Squeezypips strikes back” which was recommended by GamingMagazine XYZ. They quite liked it: “Rusty Mrs. Squeezypips beats downhordes of baddies with her rolling pin of justice in this hilarious arcadebrawler!” GamingMagazinexyz.com

In case you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.I’m also open for an interview.