Earthworm Jim was truly a hero of his age, but only his age and no other. His ludicrous pair of 2D platforming games from the 16-bit era reached a level of acclaim to match their legendary Japanese counterparts, staunch with their wacky sense of early 90s Saturday morning cartoon humor. His popularity even generated its own cartoon show and action figure line, but two dud games in a row were enough to send the mighty fine hero into an early retirement.
And that’s that just where designer David Perry wants to pick up with the character.
“The thing we had talked about in the past is Jim had been in retirement. So, he’s been sitting at home watching movies and eating popcorn. He’s grossly overweight now. The plan was to start with him literally getting off the sofa, and it’s a disaster because he just hasn’t done anything since. But he’s got to get back into action again.”
Although nothing is in the works or confirmed, Perry told Eurogamer in an interview that he is “sure” a new game will happen, but the old gang of programmers just don’t have the time to do it at the moment. Many ex-programmers from the Earthworm Jim development team Shiny Entertainment all have their own companies now, and David Perry himself just had his cloud-based digital distribution channel Gaikai purchased by Sony for a whopping $380 million.
Despite their successes in many other fields, Perry admits that the old crew still discusses on Facebook how possible another stab at Earthworm Jim would be in terms of time and finances:
“We have our own little discussion group on Facebook. We’ve been having this discussion: when will this happen? When could we do it? What would make sense? We feel the Kickstarter thing would have been fun just to see how much money could be raised out of a Kickstarter, because we would have put a lot of effort into the video, for example. It’s one of those things that, no one’s got the time right now. I’m sure it’s going to happen, I just can’t tell you exactly when.”
With a healthy dose of that $380 million going to his pocket, I doubt Perry would have to turn to Kickstarter to fund this pet project.
At this point, nothing is set in stone by any means, but the only thing Perry is sure of is that the game will be played in 2D, much like the classic titles.
The most recent iteration of Earthworm Jim was an HD remake that hit Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network back in 2010, but it was received rather poorly by a lot of critics who said the formula hadn’t aged well. The original games’ animation and sprites still hold up today, so the original carts are worth the effort of tracking down rather than settling with the HD version.