Play The Future Is An App Created By Montrealers That Lets You Predict The Future And Win Prizes
Play The Future is a new social gaming platform that pits users against each other in entertaining predictive competitions. Can you predict how many times Obama will mention Trump during his White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech? How many megabytes will the new iOS use? How many downloads will Bieber get 24 hours after he drops his latest single? The way PTF sees it, if it can be measured, it can be played.
The Montreal company, founded by Parisa Foster and Andy Nulman bring great excitement (and tons of prizes) to an audience that is looking to get a bit more out of playing an app on their devices. The company has been invited to take part in the AccelerateMTL program for startups at C2 this week and we took the time to touch base with Parisa Foster, who shows true excellence as a female entrepreneur leading technology and games to the future (no pun intended) -
How would you describe Play The Future to someone who’s never heard of it before?
Play The Future is a daily prediction game that challenges and rewards players with real prizes. Put another way, it's like trivia....except you can't cheat because the answers haven't happened yet.
How did you actually come up with the concept for Play The Future? What were the circumstances?
The idea of "playing the future" was conceived 10 years ago with my business partner, Andy Nulman, while working at his company Airborne Mobile. It was one of Canada's first mobile startups, and we noticed that people loved predicting hockey games on their "dumb phones." We thought to ourselves: "Why just limit prediction gaming to Sports? If it can measured, it can be played." Since then, Fantasy Sports has exploded and our goal is to broaden that passion to make life a game.
Predicting the future is the premise of the game. How far in the future do players get to predict the outcome of certain stat-oriented events?
The majority of predictions are short-term, when the outcome of events will happen within 24-36 hours. Sometimes as short as just a few hours. There are also some longer-range predictions but we find that players generally prefer not to wait too long!
How often will you need to update the app with new trivia as pop culture events unfold?
The app's content is updated three times a day, every single day. It's imperative that we integrate predictions with current events to ensure real-world relevance. Our Content team operates pretty much like a news room. Personally, I get most of my pop culture news just by playing PTF.
What are some of your favourite categories that are available in PTF?
I particularly enjoy predicting the box office in "Showbiz" and the stock market in "Commerce". I'm also constantly amazed and fascinated by new random data points the team finds, such as the magnitude of the latest earthquake or how many UFO sightings will be submitted.
Can users play against friends? or is it randomized?
Users can absolutely play against friends and it's a very social game. You can not only compare your result against your friends, but also against all other players. With this game, it's not about being right, it's about being better than everyone else.
What were some of the hardships to overcome when putting together this project?
Some people were skeptical that players wouldn't be interested in a game that didn't have "immediate gratification" since the outcomes happen in the future. But it's not true. Immediate gratification is overrated. Players are absolutely loving this game--they enjoy being mentally challenged, and even conduct additional research to make the best prediction. The act of predicting the future is hardwired into humans.
What are some of the prizes and rewards that users get for getting their predictions right?
We give away over $10,000 of value in prizes every month. That's crazy. There is a wide range of prizes, from a $100 Boston Pizza gift certificate to a virtual reality headset. At first, players didn't believe we were actually giving away prizes for real...but we've partnered with some great brands that allow us to do it. It's real.
You’ve been invited to take part in the AccelerateMTL program for startups at C2 next week. What are you mostly looking forward to get out of this event?
I'm excited to meet the great lineup of speakers that will be leading our workshops and panels, as well as getting to know other Montreal startup founders. I predict that I will leave with some ideas that will bring Play The Future to the next level...
All images courtesy of Play The Future.