NBA Jam Creator Turmell Joins EA Tiburon

NBA Jam and NFL Blitz creator Mark Turmell has joined EA Tiburon studio, where he'll focus football franchises Madden and NCAA -- and reports claim EA may be readying a new NBA Jam.
NBA Jam, Smash TV and NFL Blitz creator Mark Turmell has become the new senior creative director at Electronic Arts' Tiburon studio, where he'll focus on EA Sports football franchises like Madden. Speaking on EA Sports' official blog, Turmell says the ratio of quality to yearly schedule of EA's sports games attracted him to the company. "I've also marveled at how EA management or marketing has understood their consumer and then targeted them with appropriate content," he adds. Turmell will work inside of EA Tiburon's Central Gameplay Group, and says he will focus on improving the "moment to moment football gameplay" for both the Madden and NCAA franchises. "We have many talented developers in the mix on football, but hopefully I can bring a little extra magic to the mix and our games will appeal to an even larger audience," he says. In the past, Turmell has worked on sports IP at Midway. While NFL Blitz, NBA Jam and its ilk were not simulation titles, he says he's learned some lessons he hopes to carry forward: "Including how to communicate rules/situations to the user, ways to make the game easier to pick up and play, how to make plays/moves more impactful and entertaining, and even the general pacing of a game to keep player attention." "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," says Turmell. Intriguingly, a recent report claims that "EA Sports has acquired the rights from the NBA to deliver an updated version of NBA Jam", in development at EA's Vancouver studio, with Turmell consulting on the new project. Electronic Arts representatives told Gamasutra in relation to NBA Jam's existence that "we don’t comment on rumors".

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