Call me irony poisoned or stupid, but I think Space Jam is still a fun movie (okay, it’s also a bizarrely cynical cash-grab, but whatever, I had the damn sleeping bag growing up). Now, with Warner Bros. finally about to try another go at cashing-in on the NBA Star + Bugs Bunny formula next summer, the LeBron James sequel “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is getting an Xbox-sponsored game design contest.
Much like the Doritos-sponsored “Unlock Xbox” competition that gave us Doritos Crash Course and Harms Way on Xbox Live Arcade, the newly unveiled Space Jam contest will see two arcade game ideas turned into actual titles. Developers Digital Eclipse will turn the two winning ideas—from a pool of short written pitches submitted between now and Dec. 30—into games that will launch as perks on Xbox Game Pass in June 2021.
Submissions will be limited to picking from a set of sixteen genre hybrids with loosely corresponding visual mock-ups, ranging from obvious basketball fits like “Sports + Tactics” to stranger options like “Action + Rhythm.” The winners of the contest will get their name in the credits, a bundle featuring signed LeBron James memorabilia, Space Jam merch, an Xbox Series S console, a private screening of the film, and a Microsoft-hosted virtual coding workshop targeting their local community.
That, plus some free kid and teenager-targeted coding lessons being launched alongside the contest, are all well and good. Space Jam fans, though, should take note of this promotional video featuring LeBron James, as it’s actually the first time we’ve seen him act alongside Bugs Bunny.
Well, upon first impressions, is he better or worse at bouncing his energy off a cartoon character than Michael Jordan? Is this sequel going to need another Quad City DJs banger to rescue it, or do we think LeBron’s got the Secret Stuff to make this one work with his charisma alone? Does any of this matter now that Warner Bros. is planning to release it simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max?
Anyway, you have just over two weeks to get your best Space Jam idea into the contest. Friend of the site and contributor Imran Khan suggested a Disco Elysium-style RPG starring Bugs and LeBron and… well damn, I’d play that in a heartbeat. It’d probably never win the contest, but good luck topping that idea.