The NBA Jam franchise is practically synonymous with arcade-style sports action, even though the last new installment in the Midway-spawned and Acclaim-published series was nearly seven years ago. Unfortunately, both of those companies have gone under in the interim, which cast doubt on the series' long-term fate.
Electronic Arts today dispelled much of that doubt by confirming reports that it was developing a new edition in the series for the Wii. The revival, which will go by the moniker EA Sports NBA Jam, is set to hit the hardwood later this year.
Developed by the Vancouver, British Columbia-based EA Canada studio, EA Sports NBA Jam will attempt to marry the series' familiar gameplay with new modes, ball physics, and features. The publisher has said it will introduce a new visual style that includes realistic representations of the players rather than the generic bodies used in the original arcade game.
One factor that may help EA recapture the series' essence is the recent hiring of NBA Jam creator Mark Turmell. While Turmell is stationed at EA Tiburon (the studio behind the Madden NFL games), the original report about EA's NBA Jam revival mentioned that Turmell and other series veterans had been tapped to work on the project.
EA Sports has also set up an official Web site for the game, where players can vote on which players they'd like to see make the cut from various NBA teams.