news\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

The Reason Why Earthworm Jim PSP was Canceled

February 22, 2010

The Reason Why Earthworm Jim PSP was Canceled

We discover why the plug got pulled on the highly-anticipated portable entry to the franchise.

Do you remember the good ol’ days when platformers were the most popular genre? If you do, then you undoubtedly should remember Shiny Entertainment’s Earthworm Jim that made a name for itself with cunning and tongue-in-cheek humor.

Well, back in 2006, Shiny Entertainment and Atari announced that they were developing a PSP title of the original Earthworm Jim. Soon after, Atari sold off Shiny Entertainment to Foundation 9, which then merged them with The Collective to form Double Helix Games. Thus, the formerly announced Earthworm Jim PSP was “put on hold” by Atari, even though it was said to be 80 percent complete. So where has the title gone?

According to a former Shiny Entertainment developer that we spoke to at a recent press event, the Earthworm Jim PSP never got past getting the team back together for another go-around. You see, David Perry, one of the original founders of Shiny Entertainment, was ready to get everything off the ground and revive the lovable worm, but there’s one underlying problem that caused it to reach its inevitable cancellation: royalties.

Earthworm Jim was originally published by Interplay, the often money-troubled company that sold off the entire Fallout franchise to Bethesda Softworks to help combat their debt problems. Back in 2006 though, before the sale of the entire Fallout intellectual property, it was reported that they needed $75 million to complete their Fallout MMO project and just by chance, this Earthworm Jim project was set to start around the same time frame.

So as luck would have it, Interplay was in dire need of money and had no way of paying off owed royalties from years past to Shiny Entertainment that included the television show, toys and much more that sent the worm into the stratosphere of superstardom.

Thus, Interplay, Atari and Shiny Entertainment went to bat and struck out. It’s a sad realization, but Perry and crew were this close to getting the gang back together and were met with a harsh reality that it was never meant to be.

We pray that Earthworm Jim 4, published and developed by a refocused Interplay with the creator of Earthworm Jim, Douglas TenNapel, on the team doesn’t suffer the same fate.

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