Earthworm Jim

Earthworm Jim 3D [N64/PC – Beta]


During its drawn-out three year development cycle, Earthworm Jim 3D changed publishers several times. This caused some problems as the game was based on the Earthworm Jim TV series which by the time of release, had been off the air for over 3 years. Also many locations displayed in early versions of the game are nowhere to be found in the released copy (such as a level set in a house, where Jim is ant-sized), and locations that were kept from early screenshots changed drastically before release.

In some cases, entire characters were changed – originally, Evil the Cat was to be the boss of Fear, but was changed to Professor Monkey-For-A-Head at the last moment, although his face can be seen on the records and record needles in the level “Boogie Nights of the Living Dead”. Additionally, Evil Jim, Earthworm Jim’s evil twin from the TV series, was reportedly a part of the game. Early screenshots also display Jim riding his Pocket Rocket. The characters of Earthworm Jim had to be redesigned for the shift to 3D. When the game was almost three quarters done, it suffered from framerate problems and poor animation. [Info from Wikipedia]

Also Makubeku noticed that the eye window its squared on the beta instead of how it was on the final! A beta demo was found by Nes World (as you can see in the video below), but we are not sure how many differences are in there.

Thanks to Lucas Araujo for the contribution!




Earthworm Jim [PSP – Cancelled]

A new Earthworm Jim game was in development for the PSP, but sadly the project was soon cancelled. As we can read on Wikipedia in 2006 Atari announced that they had the rights to bring Earthworm Jim to a portable video game system, with many new elements to be introduced, such as the ability to stop gameplay at any time and dance. On 18 June 2007, PSPFanboy stated on their website that they had contacted Atari and that it had been said that the game had been put on hold, probably due to Atari’s financial difficulties and the sale of the games developer Shiny Entertainment.

From Gamezone there are some more info on the development problem with the Earthworm Jim license:

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.

Thanks to Gabrielwoj for the contribution!