Spielberg, EA set 'Boom Blox' sequel

To be available in the spring for Nintendo Wii

SAN DIEGO -- Steven Spielberg and Electronic Arts are teaming for the second game in their partnership, "Boom Blox Bash Party," which will be available in the spring for the Nintendo Wii.

The new game is a sequel to last year's "Boom Blox" and promises increased multiplayer action and more than 400 new levels that take players from underwater into outer space.

" 'Boom Blox Bash Party' is a wild social gaming experience," Spielberg said. "We know families and friends really enjoyed playing the original 'Boom Blox' together, so we designed more explosive multiplayer experiences with 'Boom Blox Bash Party.' "

The new game will have several new features, including an online component so users can download additional levels both from Electronic Arts and other "Boom Blox Bash Party" players.

The announcement of the sequel comes just as the Entertainment Software Assn. released a study noting a surge in family-friendly titles, which now account for more than half of all game sales.

The "Boom Blox" franchise is the result of a 2005 deal between EA and Spielberg to collaborate on three original properties and is being developed by EA Los Angeles.

The original "Boom Blox" is one of the finalists for 2008 Family Game of the Year at next month's Interactive Achievement Awards presented by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.