NBA Jam: On Fire Edition Will Be a Test of Customer Loyalty

Posted October 3rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition releases tomorrow on PSN and Wednesday on XBLA. It does so however with little fanfare – in stark contrast to the excitement levels generated when a reboot of the series was announced last year. It has been a rollercoaster ride ever since that point which considerably eroded the fan base. The download-only sequel will be vastly overshadowed by the release of NBA 2K12 this week. The challenge it really faces though are consumers who feel jilted by a disappointing $50 product last year and the lack of post-release support that followed. 

EA Sports has had mild successes with digital download offerings as 3 on 3 NHL Arcade and Madden NFL Arcade have performed relatively well. Here NBA Jam: On Fire Edition arrives packed full of content and for just $15 yet it has not been able to reach considerable anticipation levels despite offering more for much less.

The problem with On Fire Edition is the level of discontent towards the series following how poorly handled NBA Jam was last year. EA is essentially asking consumers to buy the game again – only this time it will have the features and post-release support they expected last year.

NBA Jam lacked features such as ‘Tag Mode’ or ‘Team Fire’ and rosters were never updated. There were also several flawed elements of gameplay and poor AI. On Fire Edition touts these things as additions and being improved upon. Ironically with the NBA lockout roster updates may end up being irrelevant this time around. Instead a number of unlockable teams offer the added appeal (Sonics, badgers, SSX, NBA Street).

Having dropped $50 last year NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is not a product I plan to support by purchasing – and I suspect that will be the case for many. Those who do buy it (at least those that bought last year’s) are showing a great amount of loyalty but may be sending the wrong message at the same time.

  • Anonymous

    You’re part of the problem. So don’t support the product that is fixed and trying to make things right??? It was plain as day that the first release was going to be a mistake. You should have spoken with your wallet then. Thanks for making things worse.

    • Krill

      How can you trust anything they say about the game when they left everyone in the cold last year? Gullible! 

      • Anonymous

        This year’s version has a trial version.  Well if you have a 360 this year’s version is guaranteed to have a trial version.  PS3 players may not be so lucky.

  • Keith.

    I’d be interested to know what sucker actually buys this so I can laugh at him.

    • Fiddy14

      so, you dont buy any sports games year after year? ncaa, madden, etc? its the same thing year after year.. at least nba jam is only 15 and not 60 this year..

    • SJ13_BILLS

      The same suckers that bought Madden 12′

  • TimSW

    right on pasta

  • Muzz_Tech

    Okay i didn’t have time to read everything but i don’t agree with the headline. I didn’t buy the $50 game just because i didn’t believe it was worth even a $50 price tag; however, I am highly considering buying the arcade version. I am still buying NBA 2K12, but sometimes you just want a simple fun arcade game. Idk if you can play online, (I assume you can) but playing a fun quick arcade game online would be fun. I don’t mind paying for that. So i’m sorry I don’t agree; however, I do see your point. It makes sense. If i said the same things you did, I apologize i just saw this before class. 

    • Anonymous

       This pretty much echoes my thoughts.

      The game was over-priced last year. Way, way overpriced. But a more balanced game, with more content, the obvious nostalgia factor, and at $15? Sign me up for this version.

      •  I am one of the biggest Jam fans – playing the original and T.E. to death on my SNES and even later buying a used Jaguar to play arguably the best version of T.E. Don’t forget NBA Hangtime, Showtime, College Slam and NBA Jam Extreme, for better or for worse.

        That said, I still skipped last year’s version and after reading all the disappointments felt that if EA went back to the drawing board, offered up a T.E. style upgrade (we all admit T.E. was the best Jam game, don’t we?) and re-released Jam at a much lower price, it would be can’t miss. Sign me up as well.

    • Anonymous

      Unless EA has fixed the netcode this is still a complete waste for playing online.

  • SJ13_BILLS

    ” Those who do buy it (at least those that bought last year’s) are showing a great amount of loyalty but may be sending the wrong message at the same time.”

    You mean as they do with Madden?

  • Anonymous

    I may actually consider buying it. I was tempted last year until they unveiled the $50 price tag. Way too much for NBA Jam at this point. But $15 is reasonable, and I haven’t played it since the SNES days. I’ll have to think about it. I’ll wait until I see some reviews.

    • Rocket2186

      I agree with Skopin.  I originally thought last year’s version would be the downloadable one, and I would have jumped at that time.  However, $50 was WAY too high for NBA Jam anymore (even though I remember paying that for the Genesis version back in the day).

      I’ll probably check out this downloadable version for $15.  That doesn’t sound bad to me, and if it sucks at least I’m not out the other $35.

  • Anonymous

    “Test of Loyalty”

    LMAO, Pasta laying it on thick…

  • Dbreuder

    Get over it.  It’s $15 for a much-improved game.  yes, they could have handled last year’s release much better, and it would have been nice to get some kind of credit towards On-Fire Edition if you purchased last year’s game, but at least give them credit for devoting additional resources and listening to the fans by fixing the game.  Far worse games have been sold for more than the $50 that last year’s NBA Jam cost. 

  • Patrick

    15 dollars too much…. does anybody care about this arcadish bullcrap…????

  • Rand1

    my advice is that last year was completetly over priced and now im getting buttharpooned by these EA goons.

    this sucks, i wont buy.

  • Bmhayden

    Yeah, but it only came out for Wii. Nobody bought that.

  • Yaboythecib2

    i really must say that some gamers need to get over themselves. and stop treating game& gaming company’s like your ex girl that cheated on u wit your best friend or somthin. How bout u go play the game first then past judgement. and Stop bitching over shit that happend 365day ago.and 15 dollar all ya’ll probably spend that much at Mcdonalds & Wendy’s so please shut up and get over yourselves.gamers man.

    • Anonymous

      I definitely got my money’s worth out of the offline components of the first game but then I waited until I found it on sale for $30.

  • I like how the author keeps referring to his own opinion as the “fans” opinion and basically just contextualizes it as that until the end of the article.

    A company screwed up last year and you didn’t put enough thought into waiting for reviews to be released and price to drop before dropping $50. Not their fault. They screwed up on the back end and rectified with this. It’s $15. Complaining about this is the definition of first world problems.

  • seanintheoc

    Yea the steam came off this game when it was bounced from ELITE.  I even played the new version after paying $25 new for it, liked it, but kinda been there done that.  It will prolly drop to $9.99 one of these days.  I love that Pasta shares his feelings I like a little biased journalist.  I’d rather they spit the truth, whether I like it or not, it’s the truth.

  • Burritoooooooooo

    Um… wow, this is possibly the most misinformed article I’ve ever read on this game. Oh well, If you don’t want it, don’t buy it. I never played the first revamp because of all the problems it had (had you have done ANY research on the game before buying, you would have done the same). How about we wait until we actually play the game before deciding to give it shit, eh? I mean if it is indeed shit, bash it’s brains out. But if it’s good, shut up and enjoy the game. Right now, this ‘article’ appears to simply be made by a disgruntled customer sad that he had wasted his money. Probably should have showed EA that you wouldn’t support shitty games made only to play on nostalgia rather than show that you won’t support the good ones (If this does actually manage to be a good Jam game).

  • Rupertgy

    I’m buying this for sure, thought the last version was too pricey for what it was. $15 is justified, and certainly for some fun with mates after a few drinks before a night out. 

  • Jaon Starks

    pasta, this is JAM..Truste, Turmell was STILL helping them even when at Zynga,now that’s loyalty…

  • Anonymous

    Best $15 I’ve ever spent, and have multiple friends that think the same thing. Loved last year’s as a party game(hell, even chicks we’d have over did) and this one is much more enjoyable in my opinion. If you’re not going to have anybody around to play with, obviously it’s not nearly as fun, but like I said- awesome party game. Better dunks, shots, much more stuff than last year.

  • Jmacisonit

    I got it for my ps3 and i like it very fun to play.

  • ADoseofBuckley

    I didn’t buy the other one. Logged into PSN, saw this, read somewhere else that it was in fact a full featured game for only $15, said “alright, why not!?”. Currently re-living my frustrated youth having a team come back from a 10 point deficit to beat me by 1 point at the buzzer.

    • Yup, and it’s not the frustration of losing by virtue of glitches like in Madden. Instead of firing your controller across the room and yelling at the TV, you try again!

  • jdav1s420

    I’m having a great time with this game, I’m playing JAM more then 2K12.