EA Sports Active was a big product for both Nintendo and Electronic Arts. Everything about the product was poised for success, especially since Nintendo will not be delivering Wii Fit Plus until later this year, and was seen by many as a litmus test for third-party potential on Wii. Fortunately for both companies, EA Sports Active was a massive success, selling more than 600,000 copies in its first two weeks.
Speaking at the William Blair Growth Stock Conference this morning (which I was listening to via webcast), EA chief operating officer John Pleasants told the audience the success of EA Sports Active now means EA has redefined their positioning for the game and now considers it a "platform." Nintendo has used similar terminology for their Wii Fit balance board.
The company has said over and over that 2009 will be their breakout year on Wii. EA's new slogan for Wii marketing, Pleasants revealed, is "EA plus Wii brings you more." EA's marketing research -- aka commonsense -- has shown that consumers immediately look towards Nintendo for guidance on new games to purchase for their Wii, but if there's nothing new from Nintendo, they become lost.
Pleasants said EA isn't really interested in overtaking Nintendo, but are committed to becoming the number two creative force on the Wii.
Can they do it? Well, I've gotta admit, the sales for EA Sports Active certainly sets a promising tone for the rest of the year and I've heard nothing but good things about Dead Space: Extraction and their new MotionPlus-supporting sports games. Maybe they're onto something.