NBA Jam designer says video game was rigged against Chicago Bulls

December 9, 2011; Westwego, LA, USA; A detailed view of the NBA logo and signature of the commissioner David Stern on a basketball on the first day of New Orleans Hornets training camp practice at the Alario Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Before there was NBA Live, before there was NBA 2K there was NBA Jam.

The arcade basketball game made it’s debut in 1993 and instantly became a classic, creating over a billion dollars in revenue – a relative unheard of in the early 1990’s.

Thanks to the popularity, NBA Jam was quickly ported to consoles like Sega Genesis where the popularity grew even more, though those who played the game often always thought there was something fishy about the Chicago Bulls.

Of course, the Bulls’ real life counterpart was all but unbeatable during the early 90’s but the video game version, not so much. In fact, that were relatively beatable – but why?

Well, according to lead designer Mark Turmell, who wrote the code for the game, NBA Jam was rigged against the Bulls because Turmell was a Detroit Pistons fan:

Did Scottie Pippen‘s ratings in the game really drop when he played certain teams?

It’s true, but only when the Bulls played the Pistons. If there was a close game and anyone on the Bulls took a last second shot, we wrote special code in the game so that they would average out to be bricks. There was the big competition back in the day between the Pistons and the Bulls, and since I was always a big Pistons fan, that was my opportunity to level the playing field.