EA's rumored "NBA Jam" relaunch for the Wii looks like it may be a little closer to becoming reality today, even if it isn't quite official yet. When ESPN.com broke the story earlier this week, they said EA intended to hire the game's creator Mark Turmell. The man behind classics like "Smash TV" and "NFL Blitz" now holds the title of senior creative director at EA Tiburon.
"I'm a huge sports fan, love making video games, and trust that this senior management team will navigate the very difficult and challenging waters of game development as we move forward in this rapidly changing business," Turmell said in an interview on EASports.com. "No other publisher has the vision and instincts to capitalize like EA does. And now that I'm here and have been exposed to the awesome development talent, it's clear that we are going to make hugely successful games as we move forward."
News of Turmell's hire does bring a big question mark to the leaked "NBA Jam" scenario reported by ESPN, though, since they tagged EA Vancouver as the new destination for the franchise and its founder. EA Tiburon, based in Maitland, FL, houses development for Madden and NCAA Football. This developments introduces several possibilities, including the chance that "NBA Jam" might not be coming back at all.
It's entirely conceivable, however, that Turmell could provide limited consulting input remotely from Tiburon while he develops a mystery title there. Furthermore, without "NBA Jam" formally announced anywhere, there's no reason to believe that Tiburon aren't the ones who'll be working on it. Let the speculation commence!
What do you make of Turmell's hiring at EA Sports? Do you want the "NBA Jam" rumor to be true? Sound off in the comment section below.