Development on the next NBA Jam is heating up. In a press release, EA Sports revealed NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, a proper follow-up to last year’s NBA Jam title for the Xbox 360 and PS3. In an ironic twist, EA has decided to make this one an actual downloadable game on both platforms--On Fire Edition will see releases on XBLA and PSN, just like its predecessor was supposed to before EA Sports scrapped NBA Elite 11 and turned Jam into a full retail release.
Just for a bit of reference here, NBA Jam for HD consoles was once a download attached to the purchase of NBA Elite 11, the long-awaited reboot of the NBA Live franchise. But when things went south for the new Elite and the project was canned, EA decided to drop NBA Jam on discs and then add in extra features via patch downloads. NBA Jam’s sole planned retail release was on the Wii, a platform the developer hasn’t mentioned at all in its On Fire announcement press release.
As most sports sequels tend to promise, On Fire Edition will supposedly ship with tweaks and new features based on fan feedback. New AI that is based on the system used in the Fight Night games is, perhaps, the most important of the new features mentioned so far, but fans can also look forward to roster updates and a co-op “Road Trip” component that will have pals battling it out against legends and current stars in “a series of white-knuckle challenges” against each NBA team. Also, look forward to the usual NBA Jam trimmings: wild animations, secret characters, a scary announcer, and so on.
No word on pricing just yet, and as I mentioned, no word on a possible Wii release. I should also note that EA Sports doesn’t rule out a potential retail release for On Fire Edition either in this press release.