What is a press kit?
A press kit is a promotional resource for your indie game or company. It is mainly used to generate hype around new releases as part of your media strategy.
The press kit should contain important facts about your indie game company for media outlets and journalists. Since journalists normally have little time to spare you should keep it short and concise, typically one-page (without images). It contains information like contacts, upcoming events, products, promotions, screenshots, pictures and anything else that might be interesting for the press.
Why is a presskit important?
You may wonder why you would need a press kit even as an indie game dev. If you send your game to a journalist or blogger for review without a press kit, chances are slim that you actually get covered. Collecting the information by themselves would just take too long. With your press kit you want to convey a consistent message with the overall marketing strategy for your business or game to them. You want to produce positive press around your indie game or business.
While the primary audience for your press kit will be journalists and media agencies involved in the gaming industry, there might also be an outsider who stumbles over your press kit if it reaches a certain degree of hype. But you should target the press with your content.
You want to make it as easy as possible for journalists. Provide contact information that you check frequently, provide quality information without unnecessary bloat. Always ask yourself: “What information would I need if I want to write an article about my game?” If the information is poorly written or not enough to cover your game, chances are the game will not be reviewed.
To summarize: A press kit is a great way of letting people know how to reach you, introduce your business, product, indie game or service. It can also be used to tell your story and convey other important business facts.
Always keep your target audience in mind: journalists in the gaming industry. Look at articles, at what information they cover and at the predominant writing style. Try to think from their perspective when creating the press kit.
How to start writing your Press Kit
The first thing to realize is that there is no fixed form for a press kit. You need to create a cohesive document that tells the story you want to tell. You also want to highlight the interesting parts about your indie game. Some questions to get started might be:
- What is unique about the development of your game?
- What is the new, innovative element in your gameplay or story telling of your indie game?
- Why would a journalist want to cover my game?
For games especially, you want to include meaningful screenshots, imagery and videos to support that message. Make sure you make a download as a ZIP archive available as well.
Apart from that you may want to include
- A Fact Sheet, including name of the studio, release date, platforms, websites and social media presence for the game, age restriction, price
- Description of your game, highlighting a short abstract of your game, interesting gameplay elements and other useful information
- The founding story/success story of your studio
- Contact information that you are easy to reach with
- Credits, Developer/Artist/Programmer portraits
- Disclaimer to allow journalists the commercial usage of the press kit's content
Remember that none of this is mandatory. It needs to fit the message you want to convey. A plus is if the information you give can be copy&pasted to a potential blog post or article. This will save journalists additional time reviewing your indie game.
Examples from other indie games:
Distributing your Press Kit
There are two main ways to distribute your press kit. The first one is making it available on your website, preferably as a web page so journalists don’t need to use a PDF viewer to open it. If you choose that route, make it visible from the get-go.
he second one is sending it via email, possibly with a copy of your game. A PDF is a good way to that, or a Dropbox folder that has the images in separated folders. In some cases you might want to provide access to your indie game to journalists before the public gains access together with the press kit to create more reach and hype for the release of your game. In this case, make sure to send your press kit with it. Also make sure that the screenshots, videos, etc. are available as a ZIP archive download to save the journalists some more time.