EA: 'Boom Blox' Sales Have 'Met Expectations'

"Boom Blox a bust at retail" read a headline at Joystiq yesterday. "BOOM BLOX only sells 60K units in first month, ouch!" shouted thatvideogameblog.

Based on the latest numbers from the NPD Group, much of the Internet has declared "Boom Blox"'s first-month sales a disappointment.

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello, however, told an audience at the William Blair Investor Conference today that sales were on target. "It has met our expectations internally," he said. "It's continued to sell well. It did break into the top 10 for the Wii, and the advertising is doing exactly what [our] team expected to: drive sales."

Analysts, however, haven't been as upbeat.

Analyst firm Pacific Crest Securities estimated "Boom Blox" would sell around 250,000 copies in May. The reality was much less; they were 190,000 units off.

"Boom Blox was a true test of the potential for third-party success on Nintendo Wii. It appears that success on the Wii will remain difficult to achieve," said analyst Evan Wilson during his NPD analysis for this month. "Wii Fit sold more than 10 times the units with on-third of the days at retail."

"It appears that success on the Wii will remain difficult to achieve"

Wilson believes the performance of "Boom Blox" at retail reflects an industry misconception that "third parties only need better games and more games and they will be able to replicate their market share on PS3 and 360 on Wii."

Not every analyst had pegged "Boom Blox" as a big performer. Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter had more tempered expectations.

"I didn't expect much, but you must admit that the response was underwhelming," said Pachter. "They [EA] don't appear to know how to market to Wii owners; give them time and they'll figure it out. However, it's not as clear from the name what the game is about, at least not like Carnival Games, for example."

During the same investor conference, Riccitello remained confident "Boom Blox" would continue to perform. "A title like this one -- can it do several hundred thousand or a million or more units?" he proposed. "Sure, it's just gotta keep selling."

Whether continued sales happen for "Boom Blox" remains to be seen.


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