Doug TenNapel shoots down Earthworm Jim 4 but confirms 'interest' from Interplay

EWJ's creator explains the problems facing any new chapter in the series

"In our early discussions about the game, we had tentatively brainstormed ideas for the Wii," he continued. "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!"

So, what can Earthworm Jim fans do in the meantime?

"The main thing is to keep our hopes up for a new game but be realistic about the industry, how hard it is to raise money to make a game and give people room to work. As with anything in the gaming industry, the whole thing could turn on a dime and many of the facts can change about the game. What these fans don’t understand is how squirly things are at the beginning of the game. It would take at least two years to bring out the game and that’s after we’ve confirmed the budget and platform. The game could just as easily go away, get moved to the iPhone or become a 'Jim Tetris' knock off as come out as a game on the Wii. People don’t understandhow unstable game design is at the start.

"90% of the fans who approach me over the years (and it numbers in the thousands) they say, 'You know what would be a great idea? A new Jim game!' As if I’m sitting on the rights of my own character with 20 million dollars in my pocket and it hasn’t occurred to me what has occurred to every other Jim fan in the world."

Unfortunately, Doug also added that, even if the planets align and a new Earthworm Jim gets a green light, you can't guarantee that it would be the experience everybody remembers.

"The only other thing I’d say to mitigate fan interest is that you literally can’t fully have a complete EWJ game without the original team. If 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. That’s the most potent form of Jim that exists in everyone’s mind when they think, 'Jim was part of my childhood!' They’re not talking about pixels in a cartridge, they’re talking about the people who created and manipulated those pixels. You can’t make a next gen game with just those eight guys any more, so let the compromises begin.

Finally, Doug issued a warning to fans who are hungry for Earthworm Jim news and are raring to snap up any information that comes their way:

"Fans should be very wary of any information passed on second hand. The first thing we would do if anything true was confirmed is announce it from the rooftops. It won’t come from blogs or speculation. Until there is an announcement, there is no development, nothing is confirmed and there is no real news about EWJ."

That settles that, then. A huge thanks to Doug TenNapel for taking the time to explain the situation, and one can only hope that some Faustian bargain is struck one day, and we get another Earthworm Jim that lives up to the legend. Until that day, however, don't believe anything you read.

Apr 30, 2010

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