On the 25th anniversary year of Earthworm Jim, word arrives that the beloved Sega Genesis game from the ’90s is making a comeback.
Ten members of the original creative team are reuniting for the title, which will be released on the forthcoming Intellivision Amico console.
“We have been talking about this moment for many years, it’s a dream come true to finally get the entire team back together,” Intellivision Entertainment President and CEO Tommy Tallarico, who also served as composer and sound designer on the original two Earthworm Jim games, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to sharing a small part of our reunion and initial design meeting with fans from around the world. Intellivision Amico is designed to bring friends and families together and we are excited for fans and those just being introduced to the series to get a first look as we kick-off the design of the game.”
On Saturday, May at noon PT, the company will stream a 20-minute live interactive simulcast during the first Earthworm Jim design meeting with the original team, who will explain the new vision. Multiple original art pieces will also be hand-drawn by the artists, signed by the team, and given away to viewers. Fifty new posters will also be signed and numbered for live chat prizes.
First released in 1994, Earthworm Jim focused on an earthworm named, you guessed it, Jim who fights evil with his robotic battle suit. The sequel, Earthworm Jim 2, came out in 1995. The Intellivision Amico will drop on Oct. 10, 2020 with the functionality to allow up to eight gamers play together through controllers and mobile phones.
The original Earthworm Jim team members returning include Doug TenNapel, David Perry, Tommy Tallarico, Nick Bruty, Mike Dietz, Tom Tanaka, and Joey Kuras.
However, TenNapel, who created Earthworm Jim, expressed homophobic and transphobic views in the past, and his involvement in the new game isn’t welcome news to many.
As documented by The Mary Sue, TenNapel was seen writing in the comments section of his Ratfist webcomic about why he opposes gay marriage: “The same argument I have against letting a man take a dump in the ladies room. And [sic] office appropriate for one sex isn’t automatically appropriate for another, no matter how much a man loves taking a dump in the ladies room.” In 2017, per The A.V. Club, he misgendered Kotaku writer Heather Alexandra, a.k.a. @transgamerthink, in response to a critical article about the Earthworm Jim games. On Twitter, TenNapel then reportedly implied Heather suffered from “madness” and called the article a “passive aggressive hit-piece.” Over the years, TenNapel also contributed to alt-right conservative website Breitbart.
In response to EW’s request for comment, a rep for Intellivision Entertainment released the following statement from Tallarico: “It’s very important to remember that Earthworm Jim was truly a team effort – 10 developers, designers, artists and musicians who came together to create an experience that gamers know and love. There was no one person who had a more important role or louder opinion over anyone else. Our goal today is to make a new game with that original team and same collaborative approach in order to keep it 100 percent authentic. The Intellivision Amico system and games that will launch on it are for every single person in the world. We’re happy to have the original creative team working together to build a game players will love.”