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Yoyodyne's "Guts" Had A Good Life: Prodigy "Pulls The Plug" On Most Popular Online Promotion of All Time.

IRVINGTON, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--November 10, 1997--After nearly eight years of groundbreaking success and unprecedented popularity, Prodigy has "pulled the plug" on GUTS(TM), the pioneering trivia promotion created by Yoyodyne, it was announced today.

One of the earliest products on the Prodigy service, GUTS was played by more than 2.5 million people during its long run, and remains to this day, the most popular online promotion of all time. Themed step-children of the original product, including music, sports, and pay-per-play versions, were also spun off from the pioneering concept.

Seth Godin, President of Yoyodyne and creator of GUTS, lamented its passing: "GUTS established the viability of promotions online. We've heard from people all over the world, from every profession, who made GUTS part of their lives. We've been privileged to work with Prodigy on this from the very beginning. It lived longer than anyone could have imagined."

According to Robert Gehorsam former Manager of Entertainment and Education at Prodigy and now a consultant to Sony Online Ventures, "GUTS had a unique `dare quality' that egged people on. The `all or nothing' aspect of the game and the multi-player competition was appealing to people who wanted to test their knowledge. Plus, it was simple to use and fun, a winning combination."

"GUTS was created for a multitude of reasons," Godin explained. "This was not a game just for hard-core PC users, but was intended to reach a broader audience to entice computer newcomers. It really changed the paradigm that prevailed at the time, from small numbers playing a lot, to large numbers playing a little bit at a time, coming back often. The game was also invented to help create a profit center in a world of fixed rate pricing, an environment that is now repeating itself on the Web," Godin noted. "Because of its promotional nature, GUTS lent itself to frequent, short plays -- ideal for that business model."

The original GUTS was one of the first games to carry advertising. An offshoot called FranticGUTS(TM), was the first pay-for-play promotion, generating millions of plays at fifty cents apiece. MusicGUTS(TM) was one of the most popular products on the service, scoring significant retention rates, and also had a long run on the Sony Station.

GUTS is but one of more than 100 online promotions that Yoyodyne, the premier relationship marketing company on the Internet, has created for a variety of corporate clients and online services. The company has developed custom games and multi-sponsor sweepstakes for AT&T, Procter & Gamble, Netscape, Lycos, and H&R Block, among others.

Yoyodyne (www.yoyobiz.com) has designed and executed some of the Internet's most successful promotions, including "Get Rich Click(TM)" and "The Million Dollar Web Crawl." Yoyodyne recently unveiled EZSpree(TM), the largest online shopping promotion in cyberspace, sponsored by American Express.

CONTACT: Yoyodyne

Jerry Shereshewsky

Liz Hausman

914/591-9696
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 10, 1997
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