Creating a brand which becomes instantly recognizable in a crowded marketplace is what all businesses strive for. Once a brand becomes established, the opportunities it brings are endless.

None more so than Cashbuster, the instant win game developed by IWG. The brand played a significant role in the company scooping the Online Lottery Provider of the Year at the 2017 EGR B2B Awards, with state lotteries and commercial operators across the globe offering the popular title.

The original game launched in 2014 but has spawned a series of spinoffs, each more successful than the last. This year, the brand made the leap from online to the physical lottery space with Canadian Lottery Loto-Québec being the first to launch a physical ticket in the market with the Cashbuster brand. Popular retail games are normally transferred online, not the other way around, proving just how well the gaming experience has been received by players.

With other lotteries set to follow suit, what is the secret of the brand’s success and how do you go about creating a lottery power brand that can straddle both interactive and traditional retail markets?

Cashbuster Evolution

The original game became an immediate commercial success when it first launched, borrowing recognizable and popular themes and mechanics from the social and casual gaming sector. With colorful tumbling blocks and tension-building gameplay, Cashbuster was an eye-catching release as the statistics prove.

The game represented 33% of total instant sales when it launched with Loto-Québec within a portfolio of 18 games.

“Some of our clients require us to run games at as low as 50% RTP, so when devising games such as Cashbuster, we place a high amount of effort in making the gaming experience as entertaining as possible,” says Jonathan Drysdale, ead of Product at IWG. Following the popularity born out of the original release, IWG has gone on to create a suite of Cashbuster games with each innovation proving hugely successful with players. Much of what shapes the next installment of Cashbuster is down to customer behavior, as Rhydian Fisher, CEO at IWG, explains:

‘We focus on the actual sales data our clients share with us to determine what it is the players like about the game and then we tweak the game based on that insight, attempting to make each iteration better than the last,’ he says. So far we’ve succeeded.’

Super Cashbuster uses the same proven gameplay of its predecessor, but with the addition of mini games to further engage the fan experience. When the game launched on Swisslos, it represented 35% of sales from a portfolio of 35 games.

‘Super Cashbuster is not only the fastest selling game Swisslos has ever launched but months later is still our best selling instant game.’

Retention & Loyalty 

Operators and lotteries work very hard and invest heavily in acquiring new players, which is why IWG devises mechanics specifically aimed at retaining players and building loyalty. Cashbuster is very much seen as a highly-effective retention game, as research suggests.

“We analyzed players on one platform and identified heavy preference players, those who have played on more than one game but spent over 90% of their total wagers on a particular release, as the most valuable in terms of average spend,” explains Drysdale. “Cashbuster accounts for 60% of heavy preference players, demonstrating the strong appeal of the game. Players enjoy the entertaining content and value for money, which keeps them coming back for more.”

Cashbuster Towers, the latest from the Cashbuster stable, is a twist on the base game designed to hand control back to the players. The maths model allows the end-user the opportunity to continue from where they left off and provides extra chances for loyal fans to win more prizes.

The Cashbuster brand has established itself in the lottery market as one of the leading titles with limited promotion. The branding has become so powerful, it prompted IWG to transform the digital title into a physical format for the first time ever with Loto-Québec—the first to market the new product.

‘We’re incredibly proud to have developed such a powerful and popular brand in the lottery market, which is capable of making the move from online to retail,’ says Fischer. 

While there are fears from some lotteries that online is cannibalizing the retail sector, the success shown with Cashbuster highlights that these concerns are unfounded.

“The brand is capable of attracting players from both channels and opens up a new audience for the game,” adds Fischer. “It just goes to show how successful Cash Buster has been online for Loto-Québec that they have decided to create a physical game for their retail customers.”

Elsewhere, the Michigan Lottery took advantage of the flexibility on offer through the RGS integration by allowing IWG to replace the original game with a Christmas and Independence Day skin that the supplier had developed to celebrate the respective holidays.

“We were able to reskin the game, put it live and then replace with minimal effort,” explains Drysdale. “We’re capable to make the most of seasonal opportunities with key brands in our portfolio and a holiday-themed Cashbuster game makes perfect sense.”

The simple, fun, and engaging content has also been optimized for mobile users. “Considering traffic from mobile devices is now dominating the Michigan Lottery’s website, games with a strong mobile experience are more important than ever,” says DeHaven.

Future Opportunities 

The Cashbuster journey is far from over, with several new versions of the popular game in the pipeline.

Cashbuster Extreme is a fast-paced alternative that harks back to the original which will grab the attention of hardcore fans, while Cashbuster Spin is a twist on the classic that allows players to experience the game at a faster and more exciting pace.

The branding has become an instantly recognizably name within the lottery space, and shows no signs of going bust yet.