PlayCKC “Gamifying” Predictions in Live Sports

As the fantasy sports sector is burgeoning in its popularity, the concept of ‘making predictions’ in live sports has come to the forefront more than ever. Making predictions on who is going to win, what is going to happen next, has always been something that fosters the sense of camaraderie among sports fans. PlayCKC is one such start-up looking to incentivize this practice and bring sports fans closer together. 

In the year of COVID-19, in August 2020, just before the Indian Premier League (IPL), PlayCKC Interactive Pvt. Ltd. launched its app, PlayCKC, for the cricket fan. The app, the founders claim, “gamifies” the offline intuitive behaviour of the fan and offers live engagement. Founders Sanket Khemuka, Anuradha and Swapnil Manish came together in December 2019 to create a gaming experience that goes beyond team selection and simulates how fans behave while following cricket. Before becoming a product, this game brewed for three long years in a WhatsApp group where cricket lovers played every tournament. 

PlayCKC offers a live prediction game, in a multiple-choice format, wherein everyone from a cricket expert to a casual watcher gets to predict scores, wickets, boundaries, outcomes and more as the match unfolds. The team shares that its ever-evolving intelligent question engine generates live situations-based prediction questions on match data. The team claims PlayCKC is India’s first live cricket gaming experience.

Co-founder Swapnil Manish says, “Our intent is to delight the cricket fan with an immersive experience. While most fantasy formats fulfil one’s desire to select an entire team, their offerings do not match with how the fan engages with the game in the real world.” Co-founder Sanket Khemuka goes on to say, “Predictions are intuitive in sports. Fans often declare matchwinners as the match begins. PlayCKC, therefore, brings live gameplay to the cricket audience.” 

PlayCKC offers free, live games. Interestingly, unlike most games, PlayCKC offers a cumulative reward system. Gamers get to keep their points even after a match has ended.  Gamers win points in the app currency called Nanyas, which can then be redeemed for shopping vouchers. 

Its scoring system has been designed to give a fair chance even to low engagement users. Co-founder Anuradha declares, “There are people who watch just the last two overs of a T20 match. Our games are created to engage even the casual watcher. We are bringing easy, intuitive, non-intimidating games for all types of audience.”

PlayCKC is available on Google Play Store, unlike many fantasy players. It has been available on Apple App Store too since October 2020.

After the public product launch in August 2020, the app was installed over 20,000 times in less than three months. The team shares that over 150,000 live predictions were made during IPL 2020. The number has since crossed 200,000. Since September 2020, PlayCKC has also engaged with fans directly in around 100 video conversations before and after major tournaments. 

Currently bootstrapped, the startup has recently begun funding talks. Early engagement numbers on the app give the company a good starting point for any funding talks as it seeks to widen its horizons. Its second game, a ‘live engagement fantasy game’ is scheduled to launch in January 2021.

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