FAQ for publishers

I am a new publisher. How do I make the jury aware of my games?
Use the criteria listed below (next question) to evaluate whether your game is formally eligible. If you think the game could be eligible for an award, email is the most sensible way to make the members of the jury aware of it. If their interest is awakened, they will contact you.
Please note that the jury does not evaluate prototypes, mock-ups, pre-releases or short runs. New editions of known games with only minor changes are also not accepted. Please do not send in unsolicited games.

Which games may be eligible for an award?
Generally speaking, not all games are eligible for the award! In order to be considered in the selection process, the game must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Rules and any additional texts relevant for game play must be available in German.
  • The game must have been published in the current year or in the previous year. Broadly unchanged new editions or anniversary editions of existing games are excluded.
  • The game must be available at retail at the time of the award selection in May. The jury will not consider prototypes, mockups, or short runs.
  • The game must be distributed and sold in German-speaking countries.
  • The game must be playable as a standalone game. Expansions, extensions, and supplements to existing games will not be considered.

The jury in its work does not need any games that do not meet all these basic requirements.

Do publishers enter their games like in a competition?
No. In their capacity as games reviewers, the members of the jury receive review copies of new games just like all other reviewers, or they may request them themselves. It is not up to the publishers to decide which games will be eligible, but rather a matter strictly for the jury members themselves. Therefore there is no point in sending games to our jury office address. This is not where games are reviewed. Playing and judging games is a matter for the individual jury members living in German-speaking countries. Publishers are however free to make jury members aware of their new games via email.

Is there something like a submission deadline?
No. All games published in the current year and the previous year can be considered, provided they have been published in due time and are available in stores. "In due time" means: The final version of the game has to be available early enough to ensure a thorough inspection is possible during the annual election and selection procedures. Games need a majority of jury votes by the middle to the end of May to be placed on the lists of nominated and recommended games. So more than half of the jury has to vote for a game. This is not possible unless there has been enough time to properly test the quality of a game. Therefore the jury can be trusted to evaluate all games that are made available by the end of March. Games submitted at a later date may also be taken into consideration at the jury’s discretion, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Which are the key dates for „Spiel des Jahres“?
As a rule the award winners for „Spiel des Jahres“, „Kinderspiel des Jahres“ and „Kennerspiel des Jahres“ are announced each year between early June and the end of July.  Nomination of candidates and the announcement of the list of recommended games is normally in the second half of May, after a closed session of the jury. In order to have adequate time to thoroughly evaluate the games, candidate games should be available to members of the jury by early April at the latest.
Dates

Should publishers send in unsolicited copies of their games?
Jury members receive review samples of games in their capacities as games critics and reviewers. The core activity for all jury members is the work as a games reviewer, which includes keeping an eye on the games market and watching out for interesting new games. The members of the “Spiel des Jahres” association are in regular contact and conduct energetic discussions on the current game universe, keeping each other informed about intriguing trends and publications.
Jury members do not expect or require games to be sent to them unsolicited. A request for a review sample of a relevant game will be for individual use only, never for other members or in the name of the complete jury. Each member requires only one review sample for jury-related work. Game publishers are welcome to inform jury members about new publications by mail.
Sending of unsolicited review samples only makes sense in special situations:
• To significantly reduced cost and effort for the publisher.
• To ensure the game arrives for evaluation by the end of March.

Guidelines for Providing Review Samples to Members of "Spiel des Jahres e.V."

Simply put, not every game will be considered for an award! A game must fulfill all of the following formal basic requirements to be included in the list of candidates:

  • Rules and any additional texts relevant for game play must be in German.
  • The game must be published in the current year or in the previous year. Practically-unchanged new editions or anniversary editions of existing games are excluded.
  • The game must be available at retail by May of the current year. The jury will not consider prototypes, mockups, or short runs.
  • The game must be distributed in German speaking countries.
  • The game must be playable as a standalone game. Expansions, extensions, and supplements to existing games will not be considered.

The jury does not welcome review samples of any game that does not fulfill these requirements.
Jury members generally receive review samples of games in their capacities as games critics and reviewers.
The basic requirement for jury membership is working as a games reviewer, which includes keeping an eye on the market and watching out for interesting new games. The members of the Spiel des Jahres association constantly conduct energetic discussions amongst themselves and keep each other informed about intriguing trends and publications.
Jury members do not expect or require games to be sent to them automatically. A request for a review sample of a relevant game will be for individual use only, never for other members or in the name of the complete jury. Each member requires only one review sample for jury-related work. Game publishers are welcome to inform jury members about new publications by mail.

Automatically sending review samples only makes sense in special situations:

  • Reduce cost and effort for the publisher
  • Ensure the game arrives for evaluation by the end of March

Which games does a member of the Spiel des Jahres / Kennerspiel des Jahres jury require?
A jury member only needs those games necessary to carry out the function of games reviewer. No publisher should ever feel obligated to send all games automatically.
Members of this jury do not need review samples of children's games.
If the member is also active as a reviewer of children's games he or she will request review samples just like any other game reviewer. The extent of these requests will depend on the extent of review work undertaken by the reviewer.

Which games does a member of the Kinderspiel des Jahres jury require?
A jury member only needs those children's games necessary to carry out the function of games reviewer. No publisher should ever feel obligated to send all games automatically.
Members of this jury do not need review samples of adult and family games.
If the member is also active as a reviewer of adult and family games he or she will request review samples just like any other game reviewer. The extent of these requests will depend on the extent of review work undertaken by the reviewer.

Which games does a member of the advisory committee of the Kinderspiel des Jahres jury require?
An expert advisor to the jury only needs those children's games necessary to carry out the function of games reviewer or other activity related to games and gaming. No publisher should ever feel obligated to send all games automatically.
Advisors to this jury do not need review samples of adult and family games
If the advisor is also active as a reviewer of adult and family games he or she will request review samples just like any other game reviewer. The extent of these requests will depend on the extent of review work undertaken by the reviewer.

Which games does an associate member or an honorary member of the Spiel des Jahres jury require?
Associate and honorary members of the jury do not need any review samples.
If the member is also active as a games reviewer he or she will request review samples just like any other game reviewer. The extent of these requests will depend on the extent of review work undertaken by the reviewer. No publisher should ever feel obligated to send all games automatically.