NBA 2 Ball Developer Paul Blagay Speaks

The internet is a funny thing. A few hours after I had posted the article on the rare PlayStation demo NBA 2 Ball being found, not only was another copy discovered by a commenter on Reddit (as we sort of figured would happen), the original developer shot me an e-mail to confirm the white sleeve owned by Michael is legitimate. Paul sent me a pic of his own to prove it, as his copy is framed.

However, NBA 2 Ball still has numerous questions associated with it. Game-rave conducted a fine interview with Paul a while back, but I figured Paul may be able to clear up some of the additional lingering questions. At the time, Paul worked at Acclaim, on the staff of WWF In Your House (Saturn), Mortal Kombat 3 (Genesis), and WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game (Saturn). He currently works for EA.

Paul was a lead programmer at the time, but was not part of the NBA Jam Extreme team. He was approached, along with another programmer Matt Parrish, to put together a demo for the NBA All Star Game:

“The NBA was doing a new contest, 2Ball that year, and Acclaim had just put together the Jam Extreme game for the NBA. So I guess they both saw it as a way of advertising 2Ball, and getting exposure for Acclaim. So I was asked to take the existing game and modify it, add some new art, audio, change the rules etc.”

No changes were made to the NBA Jam Extreme engine itself, and the entire project took around four weeks. Paul unfortunately does not remember who did the voice overs (it was Marv Albert in the full game), or how they were actually distributed at the arena, the latter a true mystery.

He does state that 500 copies were produced, or at least that was what he was told:

We were told that there were 500 made I think, and they were to be given away to attendees of the All Star game.

In other words, they were never used anywhere else for promotion. That does leave one more question, and that is what their purpose was to begin with. Were they demos purely for NBA Jam Extreme?

“Just a stand alone game I think. It’s possible there was advertising in there for Extreme, but I can’t remember and I haven’t ever put this disc into a PS1 since I got it.”

In other words, his copy is truly mint, and as you can see from the picture, still has the original wrapping. So Paul, you want to donate yours to me, right? Right? Aw come on… be a pal…