Word that EA Vancouver signed the creator of the original NBA Jam buttressed rumors that studio was preparing a Wii version of the arcade classic. EA Sports has now announced Turmell's hiring - but he's assigned to a different studio.
Mark Turmell, whom ESPN.com said had been brought to BC to consult on the Wii port, will be working for EA Tiburon in Maitland, Fla. That's the home of EA's Madden and NCAA Football properties. In a Q&A posted by EA Sports, Turmell says he'll be the senior creative director in charge of Tiburon's Central Gameplay Group, and specifically says, "It doesn't get much better than working on EA football titles!"
It's quite likely Turmell began in a consulting role for one project and ended up with a full time gig in another. Bottom line, NBA Jam's creator is now directly associated with the company said to be bringing it to this year's consoles. EA gave us the "no comment on rumor or speculation," answer twice. But this public acknowledgment of Turmell tilts the needle toward a new NBA Jam as an EA Sports release.
The Pursuit of Perfection: Mark Turmell Brings Unparalleled Passion to EA SPORTS [EA Sports Blog]