Rumor: An NBA Jam Revival Could Be Happening This Year

EA Sports hasn’t exactly been earning the favor of basketball fans with its flailing NBA Live [...]


EA Sports hasn't exactly been earning the favor of basketball fans with its flailing NBA Live franchise, but at one point, it had won gamers' hearts with a successful revival of the arcade hit NBA Jam. Players originally enjoyed the game on Nintendo Wii, before it eventually arrived for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, followed by a digital On Fire Edition, which is actually playable on Xbox One.

But what about a new NBA Jam? After all, it's been multiple years, and despite NBA 2K's dominance on the market, it doesn't hurt to have some arcade thrills, like we used to get with Midway's arcade line-up. Good news – some more boomshakalaka just might be on the way!

Tim Kitzrow, who provided memorable commentary for the original NBA Jam (as well as the forthcoming Mutant Football League, which drops next week for consoles), recently spoke with Shacknews about the possibility of a return of the arcade franchise. He noted that he "does have the original Michael Jordan/Gary Payton game, and we're somehow going to find out if there's a way we can release it. It's like the Holy Grail, the Michael Jordan one-off-only NBA Jam game. We just have some legal hurdles to go through, but we're hoping for the 25th anniversary to get that done."

As for who might be lending a hand in terms of its re-release, it may very well be Microsoft. While speaking with ESPN, Kitzrow noted that he's working with the company to get things done. "I can't speak anything to the specifics, but I can tell you there is movement in the works to get it done for the 25th year. So I'm hoping that we get a remake that does justice to the original."

It sounds like the remake could be taking the same path as EA Sports' NBA Jam reboot, but with more classic players involved – and, hey, maybe even some bonus characters. Anyone remember the SNES edition, when you could mix it up with Bill Clinton and the Beastie Boys?!

Mark Turmell, who served as one of the masterminds behind the original Jam, also noted, "I helped on the reboot of the franchise (back in 2010). They did a pretty good job. But there's so much more that can be done. It's really sort of an untapped category, to have that over-the-top NBA action with the official license. It's a great brand."

Indeed it is. Here's hoping we hear more about its potential return over the next few months. We need more high-flying dunks.