5 Fun Facts About NBA Jam

NBA Jam was released in 1993 and went on to become the most popular arcade game of all time. Here are 5 things you may not have known about the legendary game.

It Was Originally Going to Include Mulitple Camera Angles

In 1992, Midway made a pitch video to show the NBA in an attempt to acquire licensing for the game. In the video, two features are mentioned that never made it into the game. On a dunk, the camera angle was originally supposed to switch to a vantage point behind the action. And on breakaways, it was going to switch to the character’s point of view as they ran to the basket. You can see how it looked in the pitch video above.

The NBA Got $100 for Every Cabinet Sold

The NBA was initially reluctant to get on board because they thought arcades were seedy places and didn’t want to be associated with them. Part of how the game developers got them to come on board was by including a $100 per machine sold royalty.

Shaquille O’Neal Took an NBA Jam Arcade Cabinet With Him Wherever He Went

Shaq loved the game so much, that he bought two full-sized arcade cabinets for himself. He kept one at home, but had the other shipped wherever around the country he was traveling to so he could play it in his hotel room.

It Made Almost $1 Billion in Quarters in it’s First Year

NBA Jam’s revenue was a little over $9,000,000 its first year. There were over 20,000 machines on the market, and some machines were taking in over $2000 a week.

There Was Going to Be a “Hidden” Mortal Kombat Inspired Court in the Game

NBA Jam ended up having some hidden characters in the game like Bill Clinton and Frank Thomas, but there was originally going to be a hidden court as well. Mortal Kombat was also produced by Midway, so to tie the two games together, designers created “The Kourt”, which featured a hoop made of bones, and featured a bloody skull as the ball. The NBA quickly nixed the idea.

About Mickey Yarber 186 Articles
Sometimes referred to as The Retro Rambler...I was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. I love to share all the fun stuff from those years via articles and videos, and occasionally make un-needed appearances on various podcasts. I can also catch quarters off my elbow. Email to book me for your next corporate event.