How can I land coverage on GamesIndustry.biz? Tips and tricks from the Editor, James Batchelor

Getting coverage on a video game website can sometimes feel like you’re slugging through Halo 2’s Legendary campaign with all Skulls on, but it can be even more challenging to land coverage in a B2B video game trade publication.

Only a handful of B2B publications operate in the games space, and they have a completely different remit when it comes to what they publish compared to traditional video game news websites. 

GamesIndustry.biz is one of the most well-known B2B publications in the games space. Over 130,000 game developers, publishers, and other industry professionals regularly check in for the latest news, Academy articles, and feature stories that impact people working in the industry. 

In one of our recent Freemium Mode Q&A sessions we were joined by the editor of GamesIndustry.biz, James Batchelor, who told us all about what goes on behind the scenes of a B2B gaming publication and the best ways to secure precious coverage.

How does GamesIndustry.biz select news?

One of the first major topics James touched on is how Gamesindustry.biz’s approach to news differs from that of more consumer-focused sites such as IGN, Gamespot, and Eurogamer.

James described the process as being like a news filter. Every morning, the team looks through everything happening across the industry to pick out the stories that they feel game industry professionals need to know. 

For example, layoffs at a big developer would be covered as it gives insight into the state of the industry. However, new game announcements, DLC roadmaps, and release dates wouldn’t be in GI.biz’s remit as they are targeted at players.

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Huge, industry-changing releases like Grand Theft Auto VI are also an exception to the rule

Targeting developers and publishers also means that GI.biz doesn’t chase SEO in the same way as many other gaming outlets. 

That’s not to say that the team doesn’t ever write about issues, development and major titles dominating the industry; it’s just that they will only do so if they can add to that conversation in a meaningful way that would interest those working in the industry.

Look at Helldivers 2, a game that is massively trending at the moment; you won’t see GI.biz providing updates on the latest automaton invasion. You might, however, see them speaking to Arrowhead Studios about the story behind its development or writing about what its impact on sales charts might mean for the future of live-service development. 

James said: “We’re not out there to drive traffic. Some of the biggest stories we’ve run on GI have millions and millions more views than our typical articles, and that’s usually when consumers latch on to them. 

“When Sony bought Bungie, we were first to announce that, and many consumer outlets started referring to us. That massively skewed our traffic numbers because that’s not our typical audience. If our pieces are being read by millions and billions of people, they’re not the right audience, they’re not who we’re writing for.”

What topics interest GamesIndustry.biz the most?

What does the above mean for subject matter? In terms of the topics that GI.biz isn’t going to give the time of day, this is broadly similar to most other gaming outlets, like Blockchain.

A whopping 87% of game journalists who participated in our 2024 Games Journalist Survey said they were unlikely or very unlikely to cover blockchain games in the next six to 12 months, and GI.biz is also very much in the no-thank-you group. 

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GI.biz is one of the few gaming news websites to go so far as to release a detailed statement on its stance, highlighting its environmental impact, problematic players, scams, reports of fraud, and more. That was over two years ago, and James states that very few answers have been given about how these issues are being addressed.

Another topic that GI.biz rarely covers is Esports. However, that’s not because the outlet has anything against Esports—it’s more down to the fact that, just like any sport, there’s a tremendous amount to learn and keep up with.

Having a deep understanding of all the teams, rules, and developments would be a serious undertaking that likely wouldn’t be massively important to a significant chunk of the games industry workforce who aren’t catering to that market. 

GI.biz also doesn’t cover games involving real money—i.e., those you would find on online gambling sites or on a machine at your local pub. It also doesn’t cover social casino titles, a very similar type of video game in which the real-world money element is removed in favour of paid-for currencies. 

James said: “I have to remind people that GI is only five and a half people. We don’t have a massive editorial team. I think we’re a quarter of the size of Eurogamer. We’re not even a fraction of the size of IGN. We don’t have the capacity to cover everything, so we focus on what we think is the most relevant part of the industry, which is PC, console and mobile.”

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Esports is an area rarely covered by GamesIndustry.biz

Now we’ve got all the stuff that Gamesindustry.biz doesn’t cover, we can focus on the topics that James and the rest of GI.biz want to see flooding their inboxes. 

Other than the problematic areas above such as blockchain and real-money gaming, no topics are off-limit as long as you focus on the business side of gaming. That said, James says what really catches the attention of the GI.biz team is anything that the games industry can learn from.

For example, you might have commissioned a report packed to the pixel with insightful data.  You might be a video game studio that’s doing something genuinely different that the rest of the industry could learn from.

Or maybe you’ve identified a significant problem that a lot of people are facing in the industry right now that you want to raise awareness of, or, even better, have a solution to (just be careful not to be self-promotional because nobody wants that). 

Alternatively, other topics of interest might be substantial funding into the industry, support for start-ups/indies, and any initiatives or campaigns that help underrepresented or marginalised groups 

James says: “Anything the industry can learn from or benefit from is particularly impactful for us. Something different. Something that can inspire. What’s unique to you? What’s your story? What makes you stand out differently, and why should our readers care about whatever it is that you’re messaging me about?”

How GamesIndustry.biz formats its content

In terms of the types of content that GI.biz produces, this should be pretty evident to anyone who keeps a close eye on the website – but generally it’s very varied. 

As well as the standard press release, James says that GI.biz is always open to bylines, opinion pieces, and industry analysis. 

Usually, the form and structure of a story will be dictated by the subject matter. In a lot of cases, GI.biz will conduct the interview and write up the story. Still, if it’s about something incredibly complicated (such as legislation or regulations), it might be easier for the expert in question to write up – so keep that in mind.

GI.biz also runs several regular columns that you can pitch to, which are worth always keeping somewhere on the drawing board for future ideas:

  • Legal – These are features relating to laws, legislation and regulation, typically looking at how they affect those working in the industry. As mentioned, these are usually written up by legal experts rather than the journalists at GI.biz.
  • Academy – Guides, advice and tips on anything related to the games industry. It includes things like how to improve your game, network, and retire – basically if it’s relevant and useful, it’s a fit.
  • Why I Love – A smaller, fun-filled section from developers and people in the industry about why they love certain games. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at how different titles inspire professionals.

You may have also noticed that GI.biz has its own podcast. If you’re a really avid listener, you will have noticed that it actually has two. There’s the main podcast released every month that covers major industry topics and a Microcast that goes out weekly discussing the latest news.

Recently, the Microcast has once again started featuring guests. If this is something you think could be a good fit for you, keep in mind that any guest should be able to genuinely add something to the conversation.

James said that he gets a lot of podcast pitches from people saying they can come in and talk about x, y, and z, which are really just different ways to sell their services. Remember, self-promotion is always a big no-no.

Pitching to GamesIndustry.biz

So, now you know the sorts of things that GamesIndustry.biz is looking for, what’s the best way to pitch your idea? Many of the same rules we’ve mentioned in our past blog posts apply here.

First and foremost, while it may sound obvious, you should have a clear idea of what you’re trying to pitch. GI.biz (or any game journalist, for that matter) doesn’t have the time to brainstorm with you; if your idea isn’t ready yet, you will likely be ignored.

If your idea is fully formed and ready to go, you should be able to communicate it without writing an essay. Forget flashy introductions and building up context; you need to get straight to the point. If you’re ever in doubt, try breaking it down into bullet points.

Your subject line must be concise, too. We’d argue that your subject line can often be more important than the actual body of the email itself. You’ll go straight into the deleted folder if it’s wordy, unclear or just generally rubbish. 

James said: “I delete emails without even opening them based on the subject line if I can instantly tell that at a glance it’s not relevant to me, it’s not something I’m going to cover. It’s terrible. I’d love to read every email that comes through to me, but I can’t. I went on holiday last year for ten days. When I left, I had 46 unread emails. When I came home, I had 1,251.”

Do I need to send press assets? Sadly, there’s also no guarantee that putting together lots of beautifully rendered assets alongside your pitch or press release will land you coverage, but it does make things much more convenient for the journalist should they decide to proceed.

One thing about GI.biz that’s quite unique is that James is open to a phone call, at least in select cases. If you’re really unsure whether an idea will work for them, it might be worth reaching out to him to discuss it. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should start dialling the phone every time you send a pitch to check it’s been received – save this for only when it’s absolutely necessary.

A final note on embargoes, timings, and interviews

When it comes to embargoes, James has said he can’t confirm whether or not something will be covered without actually seeing it. He adds that GI.biz will always respect a clearly defined embargo.

If you are sending something to GI.biz under embargo (or anything for that matter), you should keep in mind the time needed to pull a piece of coverage together.

According to James, GI.biz ideally need around 48 hours to produce a news story. At a bare minimum, and in exceptional circumstances, this can be done in 24 hours – but you should try to avoid this if possible.

You’re looking at least a week in advance for more substantial content, like an interview or feature. This is because the journalist will need time to conduct research, plan their questions, and, of course, actually write up the piece of content.

If an interview is involved, these will usually be conducted in person or over a video call. In rare cases, GI.biz may do this over email, but typically, this is avoided because direct conversations lead to better quotes and eliminate the need to ask follow-up questions.

Enjoyed this post and want to hear more insights from games journalists? Then check out our interview with Liam Richardson, former Video Editor at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.