Rumor: NBA Jam Returning — to WiiS

Were you unenthused by the rumor that EA Sports new title would be an NFL-branded trainer for the Wii? You'll like this one better. ESPN.com says the game will be an updated NBA Jam, for the Wii.

Citing "unnamed sources," ESPN.com says EA Sports got the rights from the NBA to deliver an updated version of the arcade classic for retail release. The report adds that the game's creator, Mark Turmell, has been hired on by EA Sports Canada to consult on the product.

NBA Jam was a wildly successful 2-on-2 basketball game first released by Midway to the arcades in 1993, and later ported by Acclaim to the Super Nintendo and Genesis. The success of EA Sports' arcade-style titles for the NHL and NFL in the past year makes it a good bet they'd want to spin up an NBA offering sometime soon. The demise of Midway (and Acclaim back in 2004), also means the NBA Jam name is likely held by someone unlikely to develop it anytime soon, and probably happy to make a quick buck off the IP.

An EA Sports spokesperson told Kotaku the publisher wouldn't comment on rumor or speculation - but did add the announcement is set for sometime next week.

I emailed contacts with EA Sports and the Vancouver studio to ask for comment. Anything they say will be updated here.

EA to Announce Return of 'NBA Jam' [ESPN.com]