The Truth about Game Development in the Philippines
by Irene Enriquez
Pixelkit Inc. was built out of our passion for games.
Earlier this year, we published a post on why we are refocusing our vision from creating mobile apps and websites to only creating games for brands. Our strategy was to offer mobile games to be used as a marketing tool much like how Oreo users Android games to market its cookies.
The Inconvenient Truth
We took this strategy into action. We lined up meetings with top brands in the Philippines. We understood their marketing objectives and offered games that can help them achieve those objectives. We brainstormed. We had dozens cups of coffee. We pivoted. We did everything we can to make the strategy work.
However, there’s one painful truth that we didn’t expect to encounter: most companies in the Philippines don’t understand the importance of gamification and using games as a marketing tool. While there are those that see the value, they are not willing to spend their marketing budget into an “untested strategy.” Which is, of course, understandable.
It’s less than half a year since we refocused our vision and updated our strategy — and yet, once again, we are changing gears. That’s what the startup life is after all. You start something. You see if it works. You continue to iterate until it gets better. The important thing is to start, to keep learning, and to always strive for improvement.
This time we are making games. Period. Not for brands. Not as a way to digitally peddle a product. We are creating games for the sake of games.
Our Managing Director, James Chua, says it best:
“We ultimately shifted to making games for two major reasons: first, we at Pixelkit are truly passionate about video games. Second, after doing a lot of client work, really wanted to make products / games that we can truly call our own.”
Are you a developer, a startup founder, or an entrepreneur?
The lessons we learned apply to everyone who wants to create something meaningful and something that they truly care about.
If this is something that speaks to you, here are a few tips that we can share:
Always evaluate your strategies. Know when to keep on pushing or when to let things go.
Collaborate with people who care about the same things as you do. Our journey as game developers and as a startup did not exist in isolation. We’re lucky to have met a variety of talented individuals and groups who are always willing to help in any way they can. The gaming community in the Philippines is especially helpful. We are hopeful that they can bring about real change, not just in game development but in the country.
Never fear change and the unknown. Sometimes all you have to know is the first step. You’ll just have to figure out a way to walk, hop, or crawl to the next step.