Space Jam: A New Legacy Reveals a New Fan-Inspired Game and Fresh Controllers for Your Squad
It's your chance, do your dance, with your Xbox.
Today, the trailer dropped for the video game tie-in to Space Jam: A New Legacy. What I expected to see was a basketball game where I took control of the Tune Squad in an interstellar match against the Goon Squad (who would, full disclosure, wipe the floor with me because the only sports games I’m good at feature Mario), but what I got was this:
Super high-tech programmer Granny is definitely a gamer from the generation that spent a lot of quarters on arcade beat ’em up classics like I’m Gonna Spam Marge Simpson’s Vacuum Jump Kick As Much As Possible and Why Does The Wrecking Ball In The First Stage Of Turtles In Time Have It Out For Me?
Okay, technically we know that Granny didn’t actually make this, but I’m happy to say that this is a combination of fandom and game developer Digital Eclipse—who seems to have a personal goal of bringing back the classic game titles of yesteryear (because yes, Aladdin is STILL a great game).
Our team is mainly composed of game industry veterans who grew up when arcades were flourishing. That era of gaming is a constant reminder of some of the happiest times in our lives. That feeling of joy—along with the incredible Looney Tunes IP and of course a basketball icon like LeBron—is what drove us to try and capture the magic of those days and the spirit of games popular during that time. We wanted to bring a taste of that to modern gamers, especially those who never got to experience the days of arcades, while also reigniting a sense of nostalgia.” – Stephen Frost, Executive Producer, Digital Eclipse
Back in December, Microsoft and Space Jam: A New Legacy announced their partnership, along with a contest. Fans had the chance to submit their ideas for what kind of game LeBron, Bugs Bunny, and the rest of the gang should star in. Two winners were chosen: youth-competition winner Narayan from India, and adult-competition-winner Ricky from the United States, with Narayan deciding on the game mechanics and Ricky deciding on the style of game—hence the beat ’em up we see today.
“The biggest inspiration for my ideas for the game was my love for classic beat ‘em up games,” said Ricky. “With the theme and settings of Space Jam: A New Legacy and Looney Tunes there’s so much room for creativity and having such lively characters makes even the thinking process so much fun!”
Narayan added, “I love playing video games to experience the story, environment, and mechanics. I am very excited and overjoyed to have my game idea brought to life by Xbox. It’s a dream come true.”
From the trailer, we can see a lot of that classic arcade-style brought to life. LeBron’s got some kind of cyclone super move. Bugs Bunny’s wearing boxing gloves. Lola’s got a jump kick I’m gonna use an obnoxious amount of times. Tweety Bird is flying in, dropping metallic-looking basketballs. I assume those basketballs can be used to help in the battle similar to how I would pick up (insert blunt object) in Streets of Rage or other beat ’em up titles.
I also assume that the oil drum has a carrot inside to replenish our health.
I kinda hope we can unlock other characters, and by other characters, I very much mean Daffy Duck. I didn’t realize how much I needed Daffy Duck in a beat ’em up until I watched this trailer.
Space Jam: A New Legacy – The Game launches exclusively into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perks on July 1. On July 15, the game will be released to everyone else. Not only is the Xbox Game Pass free, but the game itself will be free-to-play (both via the Xbox Game pass AND when it releases on the 15th).
Alongside the announcement of the game came the reveal of three new controllers being released to celebrate the movie.
The three controllers are made to represent the Tune Squad, the Goon Squad, and the Serververse (the virtual space LeBron and his youngest son, Dom, get sucked into) and are wireless. The controllers will be available for purchase beginning July 8 via the Microsoft Store and Amazon in the U.S. The Tune Squad controller will be available outside the U.S. via third-party retailers.
Space Jam: A New Legacy will be released in theaters AND HBO Max on July 16.
(Image: Digital Eclipse/Microsoft)
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