IGT: Launching a New Category of Lottery Play ─ NOW&LATER™

Studies indicate that only about 5% of worldwide lottery sales in the past three years can be attributed to the launch of brand-new products, versus 25 to 70% for industries where consumers have a greater appetite for innovation. That’s why, to succeed in the lottery category and deliver additional value, a new game must strike the right balance between being too “same old” and being so “disruptive” that it risks not being adopted. Using a balanced, proprietary innovation process, IGT has developed a new hybrid category of lottery play, NOW&LATER™, with the first game currently in pilot with Indiana’s Hoosier Lottery and another one under development there. To understand the unique mechanics of NOW&LATER games and how they can offer European players new experiences, we explore this topic with Francesco Parola, Vice President of Global Lottery Product Development.

Black Pearl is the first game to be launched in IGT’s new NOW&LATER™ hybrid lottery-game category.

 

What makes the NOW&LATER™ category unique?

Explains Francesco Parola, Vice President of Global Lottery Product Development: “In a few words, NOW&LATER™ games are a new category combining the fun of an instant experience with innovative draw-game anticipation and mechanics. The goal is to deliver a more rewarding experience for players than the sum of both individual parts”

In developing any new game through IGT’s proprietary FutureGame innovation process, our goal is to help our customers create sustainable growth and benefit the entire industry without shifting players away from existing products──always in a responsible way. We know from our research that lottery players often want to refresh their gaming experience and try new things. At the same time, players want to see something that looks familiar, and is easy to play and understand. That’s one of the first insights we focused on in the development process that led to the NOW&LATER category. Given the current structure of the U.S. lottery portfolios, we turned our attention to what could be realistically executed for the market.

In designing the mechanics, we discovered that a draw game with an instant component strongly appealed to our player test-group. This finding narrowed down our options and, once we realized that a hybrid product might be the right answer, we continued to work around the concept to identify and design any possible element of differentiation between these games and the existing portfolio. We found a name, a value proposition, and the right communication messages. Then, following a rigorous development and testing process, we offered some options to the Hoosier Lottery, which launched Black Pearl in October.

How are the new games unique?

Francesco Parola:  To begin with, NOW&LATER is a category that supports multiple themes and unique playstyles──Black Pearl was simply the first theme to be launched in the market. What makes the NOW&LATER category so flexible is that the portfolio of games can build over time, allowing players to trial new options while returning to play their favorites. We also work in a way that shortens the development and production time and accelerates the lottery time-to-market, with a launch cadence that works with a lottery’s internal sales goals and supports player demand.

To ensure that NOW&LATER games would be well-received by players, we conducted extensive research in the U.S. and five international markets. One of the first games to be tested was an instant/draw hybrid version of Wheel of Fortune™ (coming soon to the NOW&LATER portfolio). This version of the game──for the first-time drawing vowels and consonants instead of numbers, in association with one of the most popular brands in the U.S.──strongly appealed to players. A large majority indicated it was fun and very easy to play and understand. At a $5 price point, the game was also considered a good value for the money and the 1:3 overall odds ratio a very rewarding play experience for the draw-players target. We realized that this was an option we needed to develop and offer to the industry. Given the results of those tests, we started designing a wide range of ideas, including Black Pearl.

One of the key category benefits relates to product design. With a flexible payout that might range between 55% and 70%, NOW&LATER games are a great option for lotteries that are looking to balance their portfolio. Draw players will be attracted to the odds of winning, while a lottery can leverage the instant aspect of the game with a lower than average payout percentage. Equally, the category is an excellent way to offer draw players something new while introducing instant players to an experience that they may not normally explore on their own.

Franceso Parola, Vice President of Global Lottery Product Development, IGT

As a new category, is NOW&LATER marketed differently?

To help communicate this unique proposition to players and retailers, we are packaging NOW&LATER tickets, such as Black Pearl, in a horizontal format with a bold graphic design, with clear callouts on game odds and value.

The Hoosier Lottery team and their creative agency did an excellent job of delivering the promise of these new games. In collaboration with IGT Instant Services, the Lottery developed a cool new merchandiser unit designed to grab a player’s attention. The merchandiser displays the tickets at full size within a versatile, small-footprint unit, bringing Black Pearl and lottery awareness to new areas of the retail, away from traditional instant ‘walls’ and onto premium counter and register locations.

In addition to the retail program, the Hoosier Lottery also promoted Black Pearl with an omnichannel communication campaign to create the highest possible level of awareness.  The positioning of the campaign──using ‘a whole new world to play in’ as their tagline──does a nice job of alerting players and retailers to the benefits of the game.

How is the Indiana pilot performing?

Francesco Parola: In the month since launch, Black Pearl has met expectations. The Lottery is experiencing a 92% distribution rate and the forecasted level of sales, with about 200,000 winners paid in five weeks. The game is performing well regarding payout and all technology-related features.  Of course, the launch is very new and the communication campaign is still in its initial stages. We’ll be watching the pilot closely to understand how best to optimize for future launches within the category─– for example, how often to launch a new game, how we can enhance communication to the field and players, etc.

The Hoosier Lottery plans to launch a second NOW&LATER game in Spring 2018 ─a new theme, and its name is still a secret. They’ll be conducting player research beforehand to incorporate any learnings from the Black Pearl launch. We’ll be sure to share those insights with the industry as they are made available.

We’ve been talking about the U.S. and Hoosier pilot, but is NOW&LATER a good proposition for an international lottery?

Francesco Parola: Yes, and of course, we have to adapt the product to the local market and not vice versa. In the U.S., instant tickets represent about 70% of sales. Internationally, the situation in several jurisdictions is different, sometime exactly the opposite, and the game concept is flexible enough to be adjusted according to the local demographics, habits, and existing portfolio. As an example, our research in these regions indicated that another development might be to link an existing (or new) multijurisdictional theme with an instant section. It’s a matter of balancing both experiences, but we know that people who are playing for a big jackpot would love to be rewarded instantly. There’s flexibility to adapt the ticket to a variety of situations, so the category might be a good solution.

A further potential development is to create a ‘digital edition’ of the game and, in jurisdictions where digital lottery is available, there’s the additional convenience of playing an NOW&LATER game on your mobile and then activating the other half of the ticket for the draw. The category can help both sides of the industry.

How would an interested lottery determine if NOW&LATER is right for their portfolio and players, and what are the next steps?

Francesco Parola: Part of the FutureGame process encompasses strategic portfolio management and review, in addition to the delivery of new games. If we see from a portfolio review that a lottery not only needs to modify some existing game but there is also room for a new game, the FutureGame process can help to identify the right one. We are constantly working with lotteries to assess their current portfolio, and part of this process is an evaluation of whether the market and player base is ready for a new product. Today, Black Pearl is available, and we’re developing new concepts that will be available in the latter part of 2018 and into 2019-2020.  With NOW&LATER we’re just exploring the tip of the iceberg–─there is so much additional potential here to expand on concepts, themes, and play styles. If someone believes the lottery market is mature, we can offer our different point of view! The FutureGame team is passionate about what we do and happy to help lotteries find the right solution. You are welcome to contact us.

For details on NOW&LATER™ games, please contact:

Francesco Parola, Vice President of Global Lottery Product Development, IGT Francesco.Parola@IGT.com

This content is offered by IGT. For more information, visit IGT.com.

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Synopsis

Français

IGT :  Lancement d’une nouvelle catégorie de loterie : NOW&LATER™

Pour connaitre le succès et obtenir des résultats durables, un nouveau jeu de loterie doit trouver le point d’équilibre entre « être toujours la même chose » et « être révolutionnaire » et ne pas risquer de passer à côté de son public. IGT a utilisé un processus innovant exclusif nommé FutureGame pour développer une nouvelle catégorie hybride de loterie, NOW&LATER™. Le premier jeu est actuellement en phase pilote, et un autre est en cours de développement chez Hoosier Lottery, la loterie officielle de l’État de l’Indiana. Les jeux NOW&LATER™ associent le meilleur des jeux instantanés et l’anticipation associée à un tirage au sort pour offrir une expérience de jeu plus gratifiante aux joueurs que les deux jeux pris séparément.

Un mois après son lancement, Black Pearl, premier jeu NOW&LATER, tient toutes ses promesses. La loterie connait un taux de distribution de 92 % et les ventes atteignent le niveau prévu, avec 200 000 gagnants environ payés en cinq semaines. Le jeu fonctionne comme prévu en matière de gains et de caractéristiques technologiques.

Les jeux NOW&LATER sont également une bonne option pour les opérateurs de loteries internationaux. IGT adaptera bien sûr le produit au marché local et le concept du jeu est assez flexible pour être ajusté en fonction de la démographie locale, des habitudes de jeu de la population et de l’offre existante sur le marché. Les recherches d’IGT dans cinq régions du monde ont par exemple établi qu’une autre solution valable pourrait consister à associer un thème multinational (nouveau ou existant) avec une section de jeu instantané sur un ticket NOW&LATER. Il s’agit avant tout de trouver le bon équilibre entre les deux expériences de jeu. Un autre développement potentiel pourrait consister à créer une « édition numérique » d’un jeu NOW&LATER dans les juridictions où la loterie numérique est disponible, donnant ainsi la possibilité aux joueurs de jouer sur leur mobile, puis d’activer la deuxième partie du ticket pour le tirage au sort. En associant un jeu de grattage et un jeu de tirage, cette catégorie peut aider les deux secteurs de l’industrie.

IGT collabore constamment avec les opérateurs de loterie pour évaluer leur offre actuelle et une partie de ce processus consiste à évaluer si le marché et les joueurs sont prêts pour un nouveau produit. FutureGame est plus qu’un processus d’innovation pour développer de nouvelles idées : les opérateurs de loterie peuvent également s’appuyer sur l’équipe de FutureGame pour trouver le bon jeu pour le bon client. Black Pearl est aujourd’hui disponible et IGT est en train de développer des nouveaux concepts qui seront proposés au public fin 2018 et en 2019-2020.

Español

IGT:  Presentamos la nueva categoría de juego de lotería: NOW&LATER™

Para triunfar en el campo de la lotería y producir un resultado sostenible, los juegos nuevos deben dar con el equilibrio justo entre ser “más de lo mismo” y ser tan “rompedores” que corran el riesgo de ser rechazados. Usando un proceso de innovación equilibrado y patentado, llamado FutureGame, IGT ha creado una nueva categoría híbrida de juego de lotería, NOW&LATER™, con el primer juego ya en fase de pruebas y otro en fase de desarrollo con Hoosier Lottery en Indiana, EE. UU. Los juegos NOW&LATER™ combinan lo mejor de una experiencia instantánea con una innovadora anticipación de los sorteos y mecanismos para proporcionar a los jugadores una experiencia más gratificante que la mera suma de ambas partes.

En el mes transcurrido desde su lanzamiento, el primer juego NOW&LATER, Black Pearl, está cumpliendo las expectativas. Esta lotería ya cuenta con un índice de distribución del 92 % y con el nivel de ventas previsto, con unos 200 000 ganadores que han recibido sus premios en 5 semanas. El juego tiene el rendimiento previsto en lo referente a los pagos y a todos los aspectos relacionados con la tecnología.

Los juegos NOW&LATER también son una buena propuesta para la lotería internacional. Por supuesto, IGT adaptará el producto al mercado local, y el concepto del juego tiene la flexibilidad necesaria para ajustarse a las características de la población, a los hábitos locales y a la oferta de juegos existentes. A modo de ejemplo, una investigación de IGT en cinco regiones internacionales ha sugerido que otra buena solución podría ser vincular un tema multijurisdiccional nuevo o existente con una sección instantánea de un boleto NOW&LATER. Se trata de equilibrar las dos experiencias. Otra propuesta con potencial es la de crear una “edición digital” de un juego NOW&LATER para jurisdicciones en las que haya lotería digital, dando así a los jugadores la comodidad adicional de jugar en el móvil y activar luego la otra mitad del boleto para el sorteo. Combinando juegos instantáneos y sorteos, esta categoría puede ayudar a estas dos caras de la industria.

IGT trabaja constantemente con las loterías para evaluar su oferta de juegos actual, y parte de este proceso consiste en valorar si el mercado y la base de jugadores están listos para un nuevo producto. FutureGame es más que un proceso de innovación para nuevas ideas: una lotería también puede beneficiarse del equipo de FutureGame para que la ayude a proporcionar el juego adecuado al cliente adecuado. En la actualidad, Black Pearl ya está disponible e IGT está desarrollando nuevos conceptos que estarán disponibles a finales de 2018 y durante 2019 y 2020.

Deutsch

IGT:  Einführung einer neuen Lotteriespielkategorie – NOW&LATER™

Um unter Lotteriespielen erfolgreich zu sein und nachhaltig rentabel zu sein, müssen neue Spiele eine Gratwanderung zwischen „altbacken“ und „zu revolutionär, um vom Markt angenommen zu werden“ hinlegen. Mithilfe des ausgewogenen, unternehmenseigenen Innovationsprozesses FutureGame hat IGT eine neue Hybrid-Kategorie von Lotteriespielen entwickelt: NOW&LATER™. Das erste Spiel aus dieser Kategorie wird gerade von der Hoosier Lottery in Indiana getestet, während sich ein weiteres in der Entwicklung befindet. NOW&LATER™-Spiele verbinden die Vorteile der Instant-Spielerfahrung mit einer weiteren Gewinnchance nach Ziehspielart und Mechaniken, die insgesamt eine spannendere Erfahrung ermöglichen als beide Spielteile für sich.

Im Monat seit der Einführung hat das erste NOW&LATER-Spiel Black Pearl alle Erwartungen erfüllt. Die Lotterie meldet eine 92 %-ige Vertriebsrate sowie den erwarteten Umsatz; es gab innerhalb der ersten fünf Wochen etwa 200.000 Gewinner. Das Lotteriespiel erfüllt die Erwartungen hinsichtlich der Gewinnausschüttungen und seiner technologischen Merkmale.

NOW&LATER-Spiele eignen sich zudem gut für internationale Lotterien. Natürlich wird IGT das Produkt auf lokale Märkte abstimmen: das Spielkonzept ist flexibel genug, um Anpassungen an Demographie, lokale Gewohnheiten und bestehende Portfolios zu ermöglichen. Marktforschung von IGT in fünf internationalen Regionen zufolge könnte es eine gute Lösung sein, ein bereits vorhandenes oder neues grenzübergreifendes Thema mit einem Instantabschnitt auf einem NOW&LATER-Ticket zu verknüpfen. Wichtig ist es, beide Erfahrungen ausgewogen zu präsentieren. Eine weitere mögliche Stoßrichtung sind „digitale Versionen“ von NOW&LATER-Spielen für Länder, in denen digitale Lotterien möglich sind. So können Spieler auf einem Mobilgerät spielen und dann die andere Hälfte des Tickets für die Zieh-Gewinnoption aktivieren. Durch die clevere Kombination von Instant- und Ziehspielelementen können beide Branchenzweige von der Kategorie profitieren.

IGT arbeitet derzeit mit Lotterien an der Bewertung ihres momentanen Portfolios. Im Rahmen dieses Prozesses wird auch eine Einschätzung vorgenommen, ob Markt und Kundenstamm für ein neues Produkt bereit sein. FutureGame ist mehr als nur ein Innovationsprozess für neue Ideen – Lotterien können auch dem auf das Team hinter FutureGame zurückgreifen, um den richtigen Spielen die richtigen Spiele anzubieten. Derzeit ist Black Pearl verfügbar und IGT arbeitet an neuen Konzepten, die im dritten und vierten Quartal 2018 und 2019 und 2020 auf den Markt kommen sollen.

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