Creator of NBA Jam Rigged Game So Pistons Would Beat The Bulls Almost Every Time
I can't count the number of times I lost a video game as a kid, and SWORE the game was working against me. Of course, when we played Tecmo Bowl, nobody told me about the Bo Jackson factor.
Well, turns out, not only was Tecmo Bowl notorious for actually rigging the outcome, but so was NBA Jam, and the lead designer of the game just happens to be a Pistons Fan!
NBA Jam was THE Basketball game in the 1990s. At the time, the NBA was surging in popularity due to players like Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, and of course, Michael Jordan.
Coincidentally, Jordan "retired" in 1993, just as the game came out, much to the delight of Pistons fans, who had been TORTURED by him and the Bulls for the past few years. Detroit was massive, and RIGHT in the peak of the Bad Boys era. By all accounts, they should have come out of the East as Championship contenders every year.
But that man in Chicago and that menacing red Bulls logo almost always stood in their way.
This made Pistons fans HATE the Bulls with every ounce of their being, including Mark Turmell, who just so happened to be the lead designer working on a new video game - NBA Jam.
Turmell, like every Pistons fan, would do ANYTHING to insure the Bulls lost to the Pistons. But in his case, he could actually make it happen.
He spoke with Ars Technica a few years ago about the success of NBA Jam, and the full interview is extremely interesting about how they made the game, and what went into insuring it was successful.
But it's right around the 20-minute mark in this video that Pistons Fan should get a laugh...
Yep.. he straight up said it.
"If you're ever playing the game, make sure you pick the Pistons over the Bulls."
This is amazing. Just imagine, how many kids in the mid-1990s religiously picked the Bulls as their team, because Michael Jordan was THE guy... and then religiously lost to the Pistons, but had no idea why.
Turns out, nobody had told them about Easter Eggs yet.
I guess, if the Pistons couldn't beat 'em in real life, the most popular video game at the time would have to do.