July 5 2005 The ability to embed intelligence in a credit card has long been worthwhile, but thanks to Moore’s Law, we’re set to see the rise of some very intelligent extended-play scratchcards, lottery tickets and disposable credit-card-sized promotional games. Electronic Game Card Inc. (EGC) is a listed US corporation that has developed a unique pocket sized multi-play digital game platform with applications far broader than the logical "instant" lottery or disposable versions of slot machines and casino games. The battery-operated credit-card sized devices can be programmed for just about any purpose, including in-store floor-traffic generation, customer retention, driving incremental sales, creating membership benefits, generating product trials, brand building, building a database of qualified leads and driving online traffic. But while the prospects are bright for the electronic game card in the world of general commerce, it is the product’s disposable slot machine guise that is most likely to score immediate success.
In May the Iowa (USA) Lottery Authority formally launched the first of three EGC lottery games following a successful pilot study in late 2004.
The pilot game and first full release game into Iowa is named Quarter Play, an extended-play lottery which contains 80 (eighty) 25 cent plays and sells for US$20 price. The prize value in the pilot trial was US$300 but in the full release version, the prize was increased to US$500. users press the button on the front of the card to see the results of the game appear in three small windows similar to that on a slot machine. Every card is guaranteed to win at least US$3, and can be redeemed like any other lottery ticket, ensuring that the purchaser must return to the point of purchase, where they collect their minimum winnings and the games are recycled.
Dr. Ed Stanek, CEO of the Iowa Lottery Authority, and a leading innovator in the US lottery business, commented, “Research following the pilot of the electronic Quarter Play showed that electronic GameCards are delivering exactly what today’s consumer is looking for: fun, interactive, extended games. This research, combined with the rapid sales of the product in the pilot phase, leads us to be truly excited by the potential of electronic GameCards in the local market. We believe they represent a significant new revenue opportunity for the Iowa Lottery.”
Iowa State Lottery’s initial purchase of 190,000 EGC extended play GameCards will be backed up with a further order of 380,000 GameCards during 2005 as demand increases from the public.
On the sales promotion front, the company’s brand name will be Xogo, pronounced zo-go. XOGO’s GameCard product line has been designed to address the specific needs of the immense US$48.1 billion annual prize rewards and competions sector of the American sales and promotion industry.
Though it’s early in the roll-oout phase for the product, a leading radio station in Chicago used 4,000 EGC GameCards recently to promote the radio station website with great success.
For a four-day period, the Chicago 93XRT radio ran an “on and off air” XOGO based promotion aimed at driving traffic to its website, www.WXRT.com
Central to the promotion was the street distribution by hand of 4,000 XOGO electronic GameCards at high traffic locations across Chicago – each GameCard containing 28 plays. Over the course of the following four days 1500 unique users (38% of GameCards issued) visited the WXRT website to see if they had a winning combination.
Further, 85% of visitors subsequently revisited the site - on average 4.2 times - over a seven-day period. And despite early reservations about whether the public would understand how to use the GameCards, the radio station received no complaints – the GameCards proving completely intuitive to play.
Weighing less than one ounce (14g) Electronic Game Cards are durable and can be mailed, or placed in or on pack for ease of distribution. Battery powered, a Xogo GameCard can last up to one year but they are typically programmed for 4-6 weeks depending on the promotional goals.