March 16, 2011 / 10:14 PM / 7 years ago

"Homefront" videogame sells 375,000 on first day

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Video game maker THQ Inc said it sold 375,000 copies of its new military-themed video “Homefront” on the first day of sales in North America.

In comparison, rival Activision Blizzard’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” the top war-themed game on the market, sold 5.6 million copies on its first day in stores in North America and the United Kingdom. THQ’s numbers for “Homefront,” do not include Europe, where the game launches later this week.

The futuristic game, which is set in 2027, features a North Korean army occupying a bankrupt United States, Japan and Southeast Asia.

The game’s content and an associated marketing blitz have touched nerves at a time of heightened tension on the Korean peninsula.

“We are delighted with first day sales for ‘Homefront’ and are already fulfilling re-orders for the game from multiple retailers,” Brian Farrell, THQ’s chief executive said in a statement.

THQ shares closed down 1.3 percent on Tuesday at $4.63, after falling as much as 7.7 percent. On Monday, THQ’s shares plunged more than 20 percent when it received mixed reviews on influential websites like Metacritic and Game Rankings.

The company’s management has made efforts to convince investors that its upcoming games lineup is its strongest ever and the performance of “Homefront,” its first release in that slate, is being closely watched by Wall Street.

“Homefront,” has been unfairly compared to the “Call of Duty,” franchise which has more resources behind it, said Kaufman Brothers analyst Todd Mitchell, adding that THQ’s game should be viewed like an indie movie, with lower sales expectations.

“It cost significantly less money than ‘Call of Duty’ and management said it would break even by selling 2 million copies,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell estimates the game will sell 1.3 million units this quarter.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Bernard Orr

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