NBA Jam Creator Leaves EA Sports for Zynga

Mark Turmell, the creator of the NBA Jam series that saw a revival last year on modern consoles, has left EA Sports for the social games developer Zynga, Kotaku has learned.

Turmell's is the latest in a string of notable departures from EA Tiburon, one of two EA Sports studios and the production site of titles such as Madden and NCAA Football. Past departures have included Madden NFL's executive producer and creative director, and the former general manager of EA Tiburon.

Though most closely associated with the NBA Jam series, which he created in 1993, Turmell, as senior creative director, had been working on it in addition to other projects within EA Sports since joining the label in 2009.

His hiring stoked rumors of a return of NFL Blitz, for which he also was the lead designer in his time at Midway. Electronic Arts bought the Blitz property when Midway was liquidated. EA has refused to comment on any rumors about Blitz's return, so it's unknown how or if Turmell's departure would affect such a game.

An EA Sports spokesman confirmed Turmell's departure. "We appreciate Mark's contribution to Tiburon and EA Sports and wish him well in future endeavors," he told Kotaku in a statement.