SOURCE: Blackhawk Network

February 01, 2010 13:47 ET

Gift Card Mall™ Partners With Microsoft to Launch Xbox LIVE Prepaid Cards

Over 8,000 U.S. Locations Now Offer Prepaid Card Options for Online Gaming and Purchasing Premium Downloadable Content

PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwire - February 1, 2010) - Blackhawk Network, a market leader in card-based financial solutions and the largest provider of third-party gift cards in the United States and Canada, today announced a partnership with Microsoft Corporation for its Xbox LIVE service on the Xbox 360. Customers will now have the ability to purchase Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription and Microsoft Points Cards from Blackhawk Network's Gift Card Mall™. In addition to accessing online multi-player gaming, consumers will also have the ability to download gaming and entertainment content using these cards. Created and operated by Microsoft Corporation, Xbox LIVE is one of the largest online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery services with over 20 million members

"By expanding our brand into Blackhawk Network's grocer and retail alliance partners, we're giving our customers more options to enhance their gaming and entertainment experience on Xbox 360," said Steve Schiro, vice president of Retail Sales & Marketing at Microsoft. "We are also providing a convenient way to purchase Xbox LIVE Subscription and Point cards as a gift or for their own individual use."

Consumers looking to purchase Xbox LIVE prepaid cards can visit their local grocer and look for the Gift Card Mall display. Xbox LIVE cards are available in denominations of $19.99 for 1600 Microsoft Points or a three month Gold Subscription; and $49.99 for 4000 Microsoft Point or a 12 month Gold Subscription. An Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription gives members VIP treatment with exclusive access to one of the best values in home entertainment. This includes access to multi-player games, Facebook, Last.fm, Netflix, Twitter and social entertainment with a chance to win real prizes on "1 vs. 100." Microsoft Point cards allow users access to digital content such as game extending add-ons, arcade games, music videos as well as stream thousands of HD movies and TV shows from Xbox LIVE.

"As with most prepaid cards, gaming cards are a perfect fit for self use and gifting," said Talbott Roche, senior vice president of Blackhawk Network. "It's an honor to partner with Microsoft, one of the true innovators in the gaming industry, to further allow consumers the convenience and fun of exploring, interacting and transacting at home gaming."

About Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network is a prepaid and payments network, a market leader in card-based financial solutions and the largest provider of third-party prepaid cards. Blackhawk Network develops unique products in easy-to-use formats and delivers them to consumers through an exclusive retail network of leading grocery, mass, convenience, drug and specialty retailers. The network reaches more than 165 million consumers each week. Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, Blackhawk Network is a subsidiary of Safeway Inc, with offices in the United States, Australia, Canada, France and the United Kingdom. For more information about Blackhawk Network visit www.blackhawknetwork.com.

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