Capcom seeks gamer loyalty, spending

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Capcom, the company behind Street Fighter, Mega Man and other video games, has launched a new loyalty program based around a Visa pre-paid debit card. Capcom could not be reached for comment as of press time.

The Capcom Unity Visa allows users to earn cash back, retail and merchandise rewards, discounts, access to Capcom events, and loyalty points on Capcom's social site, Capcom-Unity.com. Users also may win “experiential” rewards, such as access to beta tests of new video games or being an extra in a Capcom movie, and they will be eligible to save 15% on purchases at Capcom's e-store.

“The Capcom Unity Visa is a truly unique program, a first in the video game industry,” said Mark Beaumont, COO and head of Capcom consumer software publishing in the Americas and Europe, in a statement. “Not only are we connecting our consumers with their favorite brands in an innovative way, but we're also giving them an expansive rewards program that will let them participate in the Capcom community at a greater level.”

Card users earn five points for every dollar deposited on the Capcom Unity Visa. Points can be used for activities, including the new auctions and raffles, on the Unity site. Cash back earned on Capcom signature purchases can be redeposited onto the Unity card or used to buy discounted gift cards from the Unity Visa online rewards mall, which also offers accelerated rewards to shoppers. Retail partners at the online mall include iTunes, BestBuy.com and Target.com.

Cards come in a variety of themed designs, allowing users to personalize their Visas with images from games like Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV and Bionic Commando.

Because the cards are pre-paid and nearly anyone over the age of 13 can qualify, Capcom is perfectly positioned to market them to young gamers. Also indicative of a push toward younger consumers is the communications strategy for the Unity Card: There will be no paper statements. Instead, users can opt in for e-mail or text message alerts, and all transactions can be viewed online. Registration for the cards also occurs online.

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