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Jim, Yes Means No




Earthworm-Jim-01-160x120.gifAlmost exactly two years ago in 2008, on April the 22nd, the recovering Interplay had just sent out a press release announcing a new Earthworm Jim game to be developed in conjunction with an animated series and a feature film, with original author Douglas TenNapel working as a creative consultant on the game.

Conversely, earlier in the same month, Interplay had just “reinitiated its in-house game development studio, and [was] hiring game developers,†and vouched to “leverage its portfolio of gaming properties by creating sequels to some of its most successful games, including Earthworm Jim, Dark Alliance, Descent, and MDK.â€

While we were all painfully aware of the financial and legal turmoil the company had just faced over the past few years, these exorbitant plans sounded good enough – at the very least up until the paragraph in the press release that also cited, in the same breath, the “Safe harbor statement under the private securities litigation reform act of 1995,†which so happens to state that “[t]he risks and uncertainties inherent in such statements may cause actual future events or results to differ materially and adversely from those described in the forward-looking statements.â€

Hence: Two years, no game, no series, no film.

A few days ago on the 28th of April, though, The 34th Dimension, in their short reportage of the “unbelievably lame†2010 Calgary Entertainment Expo, described meeting the Earthworm Jim creator in what was his first-ever visit to Canada. The website, laden with eccentric language, suddenly reintroduced everyone to the idea of a potential new Earthworm Jim game by having TenNapel clarify the most current fate of the game. According to the blog,

Interplay wanted to push [Earthworm Jim IV] as a quick-and-shitty release to make a quick buck; but Mr. TenNapel is a pretty cool guy, and he told them that if the project was going to go through, it would have to be done right (then I imagine he ripped off his shirt and shoved their faces into his hairy chest). So the current plan is to release EWJ4 for the Wii sometime in the distant future.

Earthworm-Jim-02-160x120.gifMany websites took this for a confirmation of the existence of the project; GamesRadar, for instance, wrote how the post “got Earthworm Jim fans incredibly excited, as … TenNapel allegedly confirmed the existence of Earthworm Jim 4.†A mere two days afterwards, though, TenNapel had to further explain the situation in talking to GamesRadar: “That is NOT a confirmation like the guy posted. We haven’t presented the idea to Nintendo and all of what the guy posted in the article could actually jeopardize a real EWJ game coming out on the Wii, by Interplay involving me!”

Earthworm-Jim-03-160x120.gifPerhaps taken aback by the overly enthusiastic fan response, Doug also attempted to lessen any potential backlash by pointing out that “f you take out any of the missing pieces: Dave Perry, Nick Jones, Andy Astor (who passed away), Nick Bruty, Ed Schofield, Mike Dietz or Steve Crowe you’re going to get a not-first-generation Jim.â€

Shortly after the GamesRadar interview was published, the 34th Dimension responded to TenNapel’s comments:

…most of Mr. TenNapel’s objections are obviously about what I’d said about Interplay wanting to do a quick game for an instant payoff. I can understand if he’d want to cover up anything negative he’d said about his potential publishing partner, and at this point I’m not going to press the issue.

“So there you have it, folks: I made the whole shit up,†wraps up the writer. Pfeee-eow. Anybody looking forward to an all-new “Jim” game in a world without Shiny?

As far as the recent remakes go, though, you can view the goofy “I Love Jim” preview for the forthcoming HD version of the game above. This particular release – a one-month XBLA exclusive – is part of a larger set of re-releases by Gameloft: A version was just released on Nintendo’s DSiWare on April the 23rd, and is also available for the iPhone & iPod Touch and the Palm Pre, with a WiiWare downloadable to come later.

According to GamerBytes, all of the versions are based on the Mega Drive version of the game, though “reworked completely from scratch without the original game’s code” and with graphics “‘optimized for each platform.’”

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  • Retromags Curator

Nice write-up, vrap. Please keep doing more! :)



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Thanks for the feedback Areala. Just to let you know, there are two of us on the blog, and while the feed here makes no distinction, on the site all the posts by myself are tagged under my real name, Nabeel. So it's not all my work ;)


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