Prolix update: Rejection is GOOD.

by Gil Hova

The publisher that’s been looking at Prolix for 23 months finally sent me a politely-worded rejection letter.

No, don’t console me.  This isn’t a time for pity.  It’s an opportunity for celebration.

Rejection is good!  Rejection gives me feedback about the game.  Rejection lets me know that I can send the game to the next publisher on the list.

In this case, as it usually is, the company didn’t reject the game because they didn’t like it.  They rejected it because it didn’t fit in with their goals.  Maybe they feel they don’t want a second word game.  Maybe they have a second word game planned.  Maybe they just didn’t think it would make them enough money.

Because in the end, that’s what it has to come down to.  A publisher won’t put out my game because they “like it.”  They’ll put it out because they think it’ll sell.

The worst-case scenario isn’t rejection.  It’s silence.  It’s no answer at all.  Not hearing anything from a publisher is terrible, because that’s time I could have spent sending the game to someone else.

Why not send the game to more than one publisher at the same time?  Maybe I can get away with that after I’m a Big-Time Game Designer.  But if I tell Publisher A that they can’t look at my game anymore because Publisher B decided to publish it, then Publisher A will have wasted a lot of precious time looking at a game they didn’t get a fair shot at.  Game companies are usually staffed by 5-10 people doing the work of 20-30 people, so they don’t appreciate a designer wasting their time.

So simultaneous submissions by small-fry game designers usually result in that game designer finding fewer and fewer publishers willing to look at their games.  Why should a company spend precious time looking at my game if I’m just going to pull the rug out from them in a month or two?

I’m psyched, because I finally have a chance to send the game to a publisher who’s been interested for some time!  This will probably happen in the next couple of weeks.

Also, the publisher who rejected Prolix is open to receiving more games from me in the future.  That’s always a good sign.  Just because they rejected one game doesn’t mean they never want to hear from me again.

Of course, I have to figure out if I want to send a game to a publisher who took 23 months to give me an answer…