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Adaptability: How Play It Forward Persevered in the Midst of a Drastic Changing Market Dynamic

Updated: Jul 27

Country: Philippines

Industry: Gaming, Play to Earn.

Founded date: 2021

Play It Forward was established in 2021 in the Philippines by a group of high school friends who shared a passion for gaming. The gaming industry expanded exponentially in the past few years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Isolated at home, a lot of people turned to video games as a way to keep themselves entertained. Play It Forward was founded for players to play video games and earn income at the same time.

Alfonso Cholo Maputol, CEO & Co-Founder of Play it Forward
Alfonso Cholo Maputol, CEO & Co-Founder of Play it Forward

Cholo Maputol, the CEO and Co-Founder of Play It Forward explained that their core user base is gamers from all walks of life who usually have a short attention span. To keep them engaged, Play It Forward developed a platform that makes earning while gaming as simple as a few clicks. According to him, the new Quests platform makes it easy for players to find the right quest that fits their play style. Not only that, but they also educate users about the myriad benefits of web3, blockchain, and the other opportunities in this sector.

For Cholo, his banking and fundraising background has proven invaluable in Play It Forward’s successes. As a banker, he had insights into how investors think, allowing him to craft a story and translate it into a viable business plan. His network of contacts also helped open doors to secure investments. Their greatest milestone so far was when they closed their US$6 million round of venture capital funding from some of the most prominent investors, a testament to the strength and potential of their vision.

Just like any other success story, it is not without its ups and downs. Play it Forward also went through a challenging phase. As the broader market backdrop weakened alongside falling asset prices around the world and economic activity started to dry up, crypto tokens fall by 90 % in the span of a few months and have yet to recover. The recent bear market in the crypto and web3 industry has impacted everyone’s margins, including Play It Forward. Many players’ margins eroded and left the platform because they were no longer earning enough to keep them interested.

This, in turn, impacted Play It Forward’s profitability which led to cost cuts. Cholo and his team had to go back and revisit the fundamentals of their business model. They made the difficult decision to close down a full product division, focusing instead on a few core products with the best traction. Prioritizing data gathering and aggressive user testing, they tinkered with a couple of products before finding the right one.

Play it Forward team
Play it Forward team

Jeff Bezos of Amazon once said, “Strong opinions, loosely held,” and Cholo shares this belief. This not only led them to find the right solution but also helped the team to be more data-driven and adaptable in the face of uncertainty. As a result, this new business model allowed them to expand to the B2B2C business. In the first four months of the revised business model, they have seen strong user and partner acquisition growth.

Always be ready to adapt, is Cholo’s biggest takeaway. Even though during the rightsizing of the company, they had to make a hard decision to close down product divisions and let go of some key personnel. However, all of these were necessary for the company to continue on the path to success.

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