Why Was Earthworm Jim for the PSP Canceled?

Sure, we already know that Interplay is reviving the adventurous Lumbricus terrestris James (better known to most as “Earthworm Jim”), but prior to that, there was going to be another attempt at bringing the super-suited soil-dweller back into the spotlight via the PlayStation Portable. But whatever happened to that game?

Well, as we learned a long, long time ago– 2007– the 80 percent complete game was canned, or rather, “put on hold.” But why?

As it so happens, GameZone was perhaps feeling a little bit nostalgic for some crow-zapping action and dug around for an answer. And an answer they did receive.

Apparently, despite the “80 percent” claims, a former member of developer Shiny Entertainment says they never got past getting the original band back together for another game. David Perry, the original founder of Shiny, was all set to go, but royalties got in the way.

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.

Interplay, Atari, and Shiny tried to work something out, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Or so they say. How Interplay managed to reach the point that they can now do new games and not do anything with the PSP project is beyond me, as is why Shiny and Atari needed the money from Interplay to get started. At least, that’s what I get from it.