Thanks for considering Mayfair as a potential publishing partner for your game design! Please review all of the information below before contacting us, as your design is more likely to be considered if you follow them!
What is Mayfair’s submission policy?
In general, we do not accept open submissions–submissions that arrive unannounced from designers we have had no previous contact with. In general, these e-mails are likely to be discarded unread. More importantly, any open submission prototypes that are sent to Mayfair will be discarded/not returned! Please do not send any unrequested game materials to us!
How does Mayfair obtain new designs?
We work with designers that we have past relationships with, and designers recommended to us by our existing network. In addition, we actively look at designs at conventions where our production staff is present by appointment. This always includes the Nuremberg Toy Fair, Origins Game Fair, Gen Con, the Essen Spiel Fest, as well as many regional shows.
How do you contact Mayfair about a design?
Our current Minister of Product Acquisition is Alex Yeager (email@example.com). We are much more likely to consider a game from a designer willing to make the effort to meet us at a convention or show, and we do aggressively schedule meetings at shows to evaluate as many designs as possible. Our meeting schedule is usually full before we arrive onsite for a show, so it is very unlikely that we will meet with you at a show without a previous appointment. Once scheduled, plan on taking about 20-30 minutes to present your design.
How does a submission to Mayfair work?
We prefer to start with a one-page synopsis of your submission: who you are, a bit about your game (2 paragraphs or so), and why you believe Mayfair would be an appropriate fit to publish and market your game. If we are interested in your design, we will then request a ruleset and/or a prototype. We greatly prefer receiving prototype materials as PDFs, as it speeds up our evaluation process. If you submit a physical copy of your prototype, it will not be returned unless arrangements have been made previous to our receipt of the prototype. If a design is no longer being considered, all design-specific elements of the prototype are recycled or destroyed.
How long does the evaluation process take?
The evaluation process varies greatly from project to project. Although we look at designs year-round, we have multiple product evaluation meetings during the year where we aggressively review designs. Normally, a design will be evaluated during one or more of these sessions, so a 3-9 month evaluation process is typical. Should a design’s evaluation exceed this time frame, we will contact the designer and determine if both parties desire the process to continue.
In general, Mayfair will not review games that are being considered by other companies. We put time and development effort into our prototypes, with the understanding that should we be unable to publish a product, we will provide our playtesting information to the designer for use. The flip side of this is that we will not spend time on a design that we may not have the right to acquire.
Some Important Notes About Submissions
- Mayfair’s policy is NOT to sign non-disclosure agreements to evaluate designs. If you will require us to sign an NDA, we will decline to evaluate your design. We do not share designs outside of company personnel and company-coordinated playtest groups, and any wider exposure is always with the permission of the designer.
- Mayfair has a tradition of co-producing games for other markets in cooperation with international publishers. Although we will continue to consider foreign partners for our games (especially when a game will be significantly improved for the worldwide market through multiple companies’ development and playtest processes) and the occasional co-publication, Mayfair is focusing more on designs where we hold exclusive worldwide rights (including electronic rights). Mayfair and Mayfair GmbH provides us with one of the best worldwide distribution networks of any game manufacturer, and we will show preference to designs that will allow us to take advantage of that network.
- Mayfair prefers to be involved with a game throughout its development and production. Games that have already been produced in English-language editions (whether widely distributed in the U.S. or not) will be considered a negative towards a Mayfair-branded publication. Certain designs and designers will overcome this bias, but pre-selling a game to a percentage of the potential market is a serious factor for us to consider.
Kickstarter is a very powerful tool that designers can use to self-publish designs. One of the perceived opportunities is that a publisher will see the success of a Kickstarter and consider it for wider distribution. Mayfair has certainly not ruled out doing a Kickstarter project of some kind in the future, and as part of our consideration, we have monitored both the experiences that Kickstarted campaigns experience, and the long-term success that the projects generally exhibit. Based on our current knowledge, we are putting a new rule in place for the balance of 2014:
Mayfair will not generally consider any game that has been previously part of a crowdfunded campaign, successful or otherwise.
We intend to review the rule at the end of 2014, but between expectations that are set with first publication (often not accounting for the pricing structure of hobby game distribution network), the reduction of pre-orders due to successful campaign fulfillment, and the lack of input that we would have in the development and production process, we see no need in the short-term to consider recently published games.