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“Repetition counts in education. I believe that repetition is also relevant to a game so that the two realms could share the same objective,” said CEO Choi Wonkyu of Catch it Play, an immersive and gamified education platform featuring game elements such as competition, cooperation, growth, and avatars.
Choi Wonkyu, CEO, Catch it Play
Things started with a simple question, “why is education boring, but a game is not, and is even joyful?” The global gamification market has looked attractive as it was expected to grow 30% annually and record USD27 billion in revenues by 2027. The question was translated into the launch of an application by the incubating team at NXC (the holding company of Nexon). It was the very first step taken for Catch it English.
Make it a double: education and fun
“Catch it Play received the Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Prize in the first year of its launch and was featured as the app of the year in Google Play. I grew confident, which led to starting a business,” said Choi. His strategy worked well with children and adult users, by which you, as a character with a good command of English, could become a celebrity by playing the game and being active in the guild (a community within the game). Currently, Catch it English recorded two million app downloads and KRW 4.5 billion in cumulative revenues.
His experiences were hardly smooth as he struggled to strike a balance between being educational and delivering fun. “Unless you mix education and game elements very well, the users would get neither fun nor learning. However, with the experiences in operation built up over time, the goal has taken a clear shape. I set the strategy of aligning a proven education model with game elements,” said Choi. The customized education approach linked with game elements is the key feature of Catch it Play.
The custom offer of game elements is the key feature of Catch it Play
Trust, the key to “worcation”
His relationship with Jeju began with an investment from Korea Development Bank’s start-up support program. He chose Jeju to be his business base because the island has the best working environment for creativeness, which has both nature and the urban ambiance in balance. However, he also found the fact that the holding company (NXC) is headquartered in Jeju appealing to start a business. After starting the business, he could use weekdays to work and weekends to travel around the island, which is a true form of “worcation.”
As the company grew, he opened the Seoul office. Soon Choi realized that remote work would be more efficient than shuttling between Seoul and Jeju. So, after all, Choi closed the Seoul office and opened an office in Gather Town, the metaverse platform for collaboration. And then each and every company staff member could enjoy efficiency in performing their jobs enabled by more convenient and active communication.
Choi considers “trust” the most critical factor in the work-from-home scheme. “People work at home with different levels of efficiency, which could be a source of unnecessary conflicts and misunderstanding among the members. So you need to consider a system from the beginning to facilitate building mutual trust. In addition, as an employer, an employee, and a co-worker, you should be equipped with an ethical mind,” said Choi.
IT support remains lacking in Jeju, a place known for good tourism infrastructure and the natural environment. Choi mentioned, “Starting a business is important, and sustaining the business is just as or more important. A start-up, which is sensitive to the business environment, desperately needs funding to anchor its growth trajectory.” He believes that excellent policy support could create a favorable business environment to drive business growth and sustain start-ups.
“The slogan of Catch it Play is ‘Life is a Game.’ We will build a business to make our daily life more meaningful and joyful via gamification and lead the users to experience the positive immersion in their life,” stressed Choi.
Catch it English User Meet-up in 2020