Space Jam: A New Legacy is set to release on July 16, 2021, almost 14 years after the original film's release back in 1997. Having first been announced back in 2014, star of the film Michael Jordan finally announced the name for the film earlier this year, and expectation has been building rapidly since.
Whilst the original movie was based around a wacky cross-over between basketball superstar Michael Jordan and the cast of Looney Tunes, it became a hit across the world. The film also received a video-game tie-in, which was released on PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Whilst the game featured the characters from the hit film, it focused more on an arcade-based sports game style. So naturally, when the sequel film was announced, fans began to wonder whether a game was going to release for the second entry in the franchise,
Microsoft has today announced via Xbox Wire, that they are set to develop a Space Jam: A New Legacy video game, as a tie-in with the soon to be released movie. Microsoft has decided to take a different approach in the development of this game, however, as they have announced that fan submissions will be included within the game, and the two best ideas for the game will be “brought to life:”
"Just announced on social, we’re on the hunt for the best fan-submitted video game ideas—the loonier, the better! Starting December 14 through December 30, fans ages 14 and up will be able to submit the game ideas they think will be a slam dunk at the official contest website. All you have to do is review the Official Rules, select the gaming genre of your choosing using a key image and describe your game idea in less than 500 words."
To help the development of the game, Microsoft has also launched multiple workshops across their stores worldwide to give coders of all ages the platform to improve their skills. Students will “build a playable prototype of a video game using block-based coding on the MakeCode Arcade platform, all while learning about the professional skills and STEAM careers that are involved in game design.”
Along with this, more advanced courses will be offered to more experienced coders. Stars of the film LeBron James, Don Cheadle and Cedric Joe will introduce the Microsoft Store and Learn lessons with short videos focusing on the power of computer science and coding.
A promo for the competition and sweepstakes can be watched below:
WHAT THIS MEANS
This announcement is hugely exciting for the video game industry. Not only are we set to receive a video game tie-in with one of the most highly-anticipated movies of next year, but Microsoft has also given the opportunity to coders of all generations to express their ideas, and publish them on a massive scale. It can be extremely difficult for smaller developers to generate a buzz around their ideas, due to the number of companies attempting to create video games within the current market, therefore this opportunity is something that will give hope to a lot of bidding developers.
Whilst this is the first time Microsoft has announced a partnership of this kind, it's safe to question whether this is something they will look to do more in the future. The company has been keen on securing a number of first-party developers under its banner in recent months, notably the high-profile purchase of ZeniMax Media. However, it's great to see that Microsoft still has hope for the smaller, indie-like developers throughout the video game industry, and still has confidence within their ability to create a great game.