October 25, 2011 9:00 AM | Danny Cowan
Video Game Ephemera creator Chris Bieniek has uploaded a rare pitch video for Midway's 1993 arcade smash hit NBA Jam, revealing a number of features that never made it into the final product.
The early gameplay footage shown here -- taken from a build that the narrator claims is 25 percent complete -- was used to pitch the project to NBA executives in 1992, prior to the signing of a licensing agreement. Midway's use of digitized graphics was impressive stuff back then, and its work with titles like Terminator 2 and Super High Impact features heavily in the proposal.
The video additionally lists several gameplay ideas that never came to fruition, including multiple camera angles, instant replays, FMV coach critiques, and first-person breakaways. While these features likely wouldn't have meshed well with Jam's fast-paced gameplay, Bieniek speculates that their inclusion could have made the project seem like a sweeter proposition to the NBA.
It's also interesting to note that the prototype gameplay footage features placeholder characters named Barkley and Jordan. "Which is kind of ironic," Bieniek explains, "since Midway never obtained legal clearance to include Michael Jordan in the game or its sequels, and Charles Barkley was removed from most home versions of NBA JAM after a legal dispute."