One of the game's major features is the NBA license and the real athletes. The arcade version became such a hit that several NBA athletes requested to be included in the game. Some of those requests were fulfilled and special versions were sent to a few select arcade owners. One of those athletes was Michael Jordan
who actually was featured in a pre-release version but taken out because he left the NBA. According to Mark Turmell
, Shaquille O'Neal
actually bought two arcade cabinets; one for his home and one for his hotel rooms when traveling.
Easter egg rumor
Another famous thing about the original arcade version is the big number of easter eggs, including hidden athletes and a free Battlezone
variant (arcade owners really didn't like that one!). The promotional material of the game included photos of cheerleaders, portrayed by Playboy models. So everyone searched for the hidden codes to unlock their models in the game... Kerri Hoskins
was even pestered with phone calls at home.
Sega Master System port
A port of the game for the Sega Master System was developed, but never released.
According to the magazine Retro Gamer, the arcade version made over one billion dollar during its first year.
- Vol. 3, Iss. 1 - Best SNES Action/Arcade Game of the Year 1994