It’s June 2023 and there are too many video games. Not the big ones—those are rare and increasingly so—but every tier under that is absolutely stacked with new releases, so many that it’s almost impossible to keep tabs on them all.
Whether you’re looking at Steam’s new release section, a YouTube recommendation or a write-up on a site like Kotaku.com, there’s just no way you could ever know about every video game being released around the world, let alone entertain the thought of actually playing them. They’re coming too thick and too fast, and each day the thickness and speed are increasing.
There are a lot of reasons for this! Game development is more accessible than ever, and the industry is getting more access to customers—whether on computers, phones or consoles—every day. To be clear it’s not a problem for us that there are too many video games coming out, but for those actually making and selling them, it can be a struggle to get the word out.
I’m fascinated, then, by the hashtag #PitchYaGame, which has been running for three years now—we wrote about it in 2021—but in 2023 has completely blown up to become an increasingly useful spot to catch up on some excellent-looking games that we may have otherwise completely slept on.
The campaign’s...pitch is simple:
#PitchYaGame is a voluntary movement and event running twice a year; calling for developers all over the world from all demographics to pitch their game for the world to see.
Our mission: Recognising Independent Video Games.
To that end all developers have to do is write a tweet featuring their game, add the hashtag and that’s it. Anyone following it, myself included, but also loads of developers, publishers, indie game fans and curious onlookers alike, will get eyeballs on it. It’s such an astoundingly simple idea that it seems almost ridiculous; I feel like we’ve been conditioned in recent years to treat indie games like they need to be ushered before us by influential streamers, websites and Steam curators. That there are so many of them we need to rely on taste-makers to editorialise the selection for us.
PitchYaGame just wrapped up its latest campaign, bringing the total number of pitches shown since 2020 to over 10,000. That’s a lot to get through, but to give you an idea of what’s out there, here’s a sailing game where one person sails while the other consults the map:
In Chasing The Unseen, you climb giant monsters:
Midnight Girl is “a 2D adventure game, inspired by Belgian comics and 60's heist films”
In Lou’s Lagoon, you’re running a seaplane delivery service:
This one blew my socks off: it’s Synergy, “an eco city builder in a sci-fi universe inspired by great games like Pharaoh and Frostpunk”:
Note I didn’t say these were highlights, or my favorites, because aarrgghh that would be curating again, and that’s not the point! The point with this is to immerse yourself in it, to let the variety and quantity of incredibly cool and interesting shit wash over you, and the best way to do that is to look through all the games yourself.
And if any of them look like something you want to see more of, then you might be in luck: the hashtag’s organizers are planning a more formal showcase event on YouTube soon that would take a closer look at 15-20 of the games. Like Summer Game Fest, kinda, only without all the ads.