Failed Pitches

Published on Mar 27th, 2012 by

All aspiring games writers know the pain of a rejected pitch. The blogosphere is filled with articles that editors just weren’t willing to take a chance on. Talk to anyone in the industry and they’ll gaze skywards, misty-eyed, and reminisce about that one great piece that would’ve changed the world if only the pitch had been accepted.

A while back, I realised I had some brilliant ideas for video content. I pitched some of these ideas around and never even had a single reply. I can only assume that the world of games journalism isn’t contemporary or progressive enough yet, so in the meantime I thought I’d share my ideas here, and hope aspiring writers can learn a thing or two about what editors do and don’t want.

Pitch #1
Location: GameSpot
Danny O’Dwyer stars as Mechacritic, a games journalist who was severely injured in the line of duty. His body is rebuilt using cybernetics, and he returns stronger, faster and deadlier than before. He provides audio commentary on video games but the twist is that he’s also a robot. Budget could be reduced by never actually showing Mechacritic on-screen. Also starring Mark Walton, Jane Douglas and Guy Cocker as other mechacritics (there’s no real narrative consistency).

Pitch #2
Boarder In The Court
Location: Videogamer
Reviews editor Martin Gaston commissions a variety of board game reviews and publishes them on the site. Disgruntled fans start a ‘Retake Videogamer’ movement and sue the site for breaching the Trade Descriptions Act. The video would be a courtroom drama in the style of Kramer vs Kramer or The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Starring Martin Gaston as Martin Gaston, Neon Kelly as Robert Shapiro, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

Pitch #3
Developing Countries
Location: Eurogamer
A documentary series following freelancers Simon Parkin and Christian Donlan, who travel to various parts of the world and set up game development studios, then return one year later to see how they’re getting on. Locations would become increasingly more remote as the series progressed (Antarctica, the ocean floor etc) and the final episode would be set on the moon. Budget – £150 billion.

Pitch #4
Mirrors, Edge
Location: Edge Magazine
A documentary looking at the use of movement in games. Mirror’s Edge, Brink, Assassin’s Creed etc would feature heavily. Journalist would visit the development studios, take a look at motion capture techniques, investigate the challenges and setbacks of creating a fluid movement system in games heavily reliant on graceful traversing. Due to Edge’s paper format, each frame of the documentary would be printed in the bottom corner of the magazine, and readers would flick through it like a flipbook to get the general idea.

Pitch #5
Armored Core For Answer
Location: IGN
Keza MacDonald hosts the panel quiz show in which the answer to every question is ‘Armored Core’. Participants compete in an elimination format until only one contestant is left alive. Prizes could be things like copies of Armored Core, a date with Tim Schafer etc. A follow-up show, ‘Demon’s Souls with Ant & Dec’ is also a possibility.

Pitch #6
I’m Not A Tory, Honest
Location: The Telegraph
Talking heads format. Various Telegraph games writers explain how they didn’t vote Conservative in the last election, and in some cases never have. They outline their issues with Tory policy, and air their grievances at Cameron’s government. Each segment ends with the speaker revealing that they voted Lib Dem, then looking at the camera with a gloomy, resigned expression.

Pitch #7
Location: VG24/7
A livestream chronicling a week in the life of VG24/7 newshound Johnny Cullen. In it, viewers would see him working for VG24/7, sleeping, playing video games, going to KFC etc. Show could be set during E3 for maximum interest. On-the-fly narration would be provided by Professor Brian Cox as well as input from Cullen himself.

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