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Should NBA JAM be revived for it's 25th anniversary?

Posted by Jason on January 18, 2018 at 10:20 PM

Is There a NBA Jam Revival On Its Way?

Some people might remember NBA Jam, which started out as an arcade game but managed to become so popular that it spawned an entire franchise that ran on platforms ranging from the Super Nintendo to the iOS and Android. After all, it stood out from other basketball games, not just because of its 2-on-2 setup but also because of its secrets, its characters' superhuman capabilities, and its memorable catchphrases such as, "Boom Shakalaka" and, "He's on fire." As a result, it is no wonder that there is still a fair amount of fondness for NBA Jam even though the last installment was released in 2011, which in turn, means that speculation of a NBA Jam revival is something that comes up from time to time.

With that said, the latest speculation of a NBA Jam revival is a lot more credible than most of the previous examples. This time, there has been statements from Tim Kitzrow, who provided commentary for the original NBA Jam, that there are efforts to create a NBA Jam revival. First, there is an effort to release a version of the original NBA Jam with both Michael Jordan and Gary Payton, which was created but never released to the members of the public because of licensing issues. Second, there is an effort to remake the original NBA Jam, which has the support of Microsoft. Nothing has been confirmed at this point in time, but based on these statements, it is not unreasonable to suspect that players will soon be able to hear the sounds of, "Boom Shakalaka" and, "He's on fire" once more, particularly since the 25th anniversary is coming up soon.

Should There Be a NBA Jam Revival At All?

With that said, some people might be wondering whether the time is right for a NBA Jam revival, whether with or without updated catchphrases. After all, there are a lot of NBA games out there, meaning that the market might be more than a little bit saturated at this point in time. However, it is important to point out a couple of things that suggest that the time is right.

First, NBA Jam is not like other NBA games. As stated, it had a 2-on-2 setup, which made for faster and thus more exciting play. Furthermore, it should be noted that it was much more over-the-top than other NBA games, which was what provided it with its particular charm. As a result, while there are similarities between NBA Jam and other NBA games, it is different enough that it can appeal to a different group of people, which in turn, means that room can be found for a NBA Jam revival.

Second, it should be noted that nostalgia sells. For proof, look no further than the numerous series that are being revived in the present because they used to be popular at some point in time in the 1980s and the 1990s. This makes a fair amount of financial sense because nostalgia ensures a ready-made audience, thus making it much easier to sell something than under other circumstances. Considering the impact that NBA Jam had on the kind of people who play NBA games, it is no exaggeration to say that there are a lot of people who would be enthused about a NBA Jam revival, which is increased reason for someone to start up the franchise once more.

Of course, just because there is a ready-made audience for NBA Jam, it does not mean that it is guaranteed to succeed. After all, consumers are a fickle bunch, meaning that even small missteps could make for a harsher reception than under other circumstances. As a result, it will be interesting to see whether the original NBA Jam with Michael Jordan and Gary Payton gets released to test the waters before more resources are poured into a remake with updated characters, updated gameplay, and of course, updated catchphrases.

Categories: Gaming and other topics, Sports games