Planetwide Games Joins Forces with First Data to Launch Authentication Product for the Video Game Industry

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The "GameFREQÂ?" Security Card uses DataSIGNÂ? Solutions to protect video game players and enhance transactions.

As a worldwide publisher and distributor of video games, Planetwide Games is dedicated to protecting our customers and bringing new levels of services and security into the video gaming world

Planetwide Games, a leading video game publisher and distributor, today announced that it has joined forces with First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services, to launch a new product called "GameFREQ," that will enable an enhanced level of online protection and new services that range from protecting a video game user's login identity to securing financial transactions when playing subscription video games. GameFREQ can also be personalized and used by game players to control access to select material and online content.

Planetwide Games' GameFREQ uses DataSIGN authentication products, a First Data innovation, to deliver new and enhanced secure services and features for the video game industry. GameFREQ offers strong protection against phishing, identity theft, and other fraud attacks through the use of DataSIGN digital signatures. Unlike other security products, GameFREQ authentication cards don't expire, can be used with multiple games, applications or websites, and are simpler to work with and less costly than traditional public key technology (PKI) that use digital certificates and smartcards.

"As a worldwide publisher and distributor of video games, Planetwide Games is dedicated to protecting our customers and bringing new levels of services and security into the video gaming world," said Kevin Donovan, President of Planetwide Games. "Our $1,000,000 RYL: 'Path of the Emperor' Tournament has required Planetwide Games to highten our security requirements and the DataSIGN products have enabled us to do just that. With GameFREQ, we are providing publishers the ability to securely and privately conduct transactions with game users on community websites, inside virtual worlds and communities, and at participating retailers. It's the package of First Data and the powerful DataSIGN products that allows Planetwide Games’ GameFREQ product to deliver these capabilities to the video game marketplace."

Leading Video Game industry analyst group DFC Intelligence estimates that the online game industry in 2003 was $1.9 billion. By 2006, they predict revenue growing to $5.2 billion with continued steady growth, with worldwide online game revenue reaching $9.8 billion by 2009. DFC forecasts that online micropayments will reach $1.8 billion by 2009. It is also estimated that the market for online transactions of virtual items inside video games is currently between $200 - $400 million worldwide and will reach $2 billion by 2009.

"Over the past 30 years, video games have become an integral part of the culture and video gaming has become a multi-billion dollar industry. With the ever-growing popularity of real-time video games, game companies are leveraging the potential of massive, shared video game experiences online," said Gene Kathol, Vice President, Research and Development of First Data. "There is no question this presents an opportunity for fraud and therefore the need for strong protection of a user's identity and transactions is clear. With the introduction of GameFREQ, Planetwide Games is setting the standard for providing the necessary security the industry requires and we are pleased to be working with them on such an important initiative."

About Planetwide Games

Based in Costa Mesa, CA, Planetwide Games (a Bluetorch On-Line Games, Inc. company) is

a leading publisher and distributor of Video Games and Interactive Entertainment. Planetwide Games markets and distributes Video Games including MMORPG's and Interactive Entertainment throughout the world. Planetwide also develops propriety online technology for the Video Game Industry and is building a worldwide network of affiliates to distribute video games. For more information, please visit or

About First Data Secure Signing Platform

The First Data Secure Signing Platform helps businesses reduce the risk of fraud and security breaches when conducting transactions in today's electronic world. By enabling companies to easily and cost-effectively replace passwords and other weak authentication solutions with the digital equivalent to a handwritten signature, the First Data Secure Signing Platform offers increased protection against the growing trend of identity theft and transaction fraud. The First Data Secure Signing Platform, featuring DataSIGN™ products, defends against unauthorized network access and proves both the origin and integrity of electronic transactions empowering companies to leverage the profit potential of e-business without putting themselves or their customers at risk. First Data provides a full range of products and services that complement the Secure Signing Platform. For more information, please visit

About First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers worldwide. Serving 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company's portfolio of services and solutions includes credit, debit, private-label, smart and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; money transfer services; money orders; fraud protection and authentication solutions; check guarantee and verification services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile solutions. The company's STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 1.6 million ATM and retail locations. For more information, visit

Technology Contact:

Ralph Seibert, Planetwide Games 800-560-2993 x 216

Planetwide Games Media Contact:

Rita Tennyson – Terpin Communications

310-821-6100 x 104

First Data Media Contact:

Lorraine Kauffman-Hall, First Data Secure Signing Platform, 704-882-0443,

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Rita Tennyson
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