David Perry, the founder of Earthworm Jim creator Shiny Entertainment, recently told Eurogamer that discussions about a revival of the 16-bit era classic happen all the time, and it’s only a matter of “when”.
Perry, who is now heading up Sony’s recently acquired cloud gaming company Gaikai, said:
“Our problem is that the team is all doing well in whatever they’re doing right now. It’s just a bunch of guys who all have their own thing. Everyone has their own company. So, to get them to stop what they’re doing and work on a game is very difficult, but it’s something they all want to do… 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.”
Earthworm Jim’s last all new console adventure, Earthworm Jim 3D for the Nintendo 64, was developed and released in 1999 after Perry sold Shiny Entertainment to Interplay. The game wasn’t exactly up to par with the older 16-bit games, and became one of the many video game franchises that failed to make the jump to the third dimension.
In the interview, Perry went on to explain that the idea that has been kicked around for a new Earthworm Jim would have him star in a 2D game that started with the worm “in retirement”, and “sitting at home watching movies and eating popcorn.” Perry added that Jim would have gained a little weight since his last adventure, and that the game would “start with him literally getting off the sofa.”
The original Earthworm Jim debuted on the Sega MegaDrive in 1994, however, my memory of him comes from the SNES port. Back then I worked at a comic book store that had a SNES hooked up in the back with a copy of Earthworm Jim. I can honestly say that getting paid to read comic books, talk with other nerds, and play Earthworm Jim all day is just about one of the best jobs ever. If you are ever offered a similar position, I suggest you take it.
This is probably the nostalgia talking, but I’d love to see a proper new 2D Earthworm Jim game released in the future. Hopefully Perry and the team can make it happen someday.