In the 1990’s the company known as Interplay gave us a wide variety of characters on 16-bit and 32-bit consoles. Earthworm Jim, Clay Fighter, The Lost Vikings, and this:
Now it’s all up for sale. Interplay is dropping the proverbial cow on the whole enterprise.
You would be forgiven for thinking Interplay went out of business already. They decided to cease game development a long time ago, choosing instead to offer its IPs to other game studios on license. There are some who have taken advantage of this: a new Descent was crowdfunded by an indie studio and released last year on Steam. But now the fate of all those classic IPs are up in the air.
“Interplay has entertained millions of players with its well-recognized games, including Earthworm Jim, Freespace, Giants, Kingpin, Messiah, MDK, Run Like Hell, Sacrifice, Battlechess, Clayfighter, Dark Alliance, and Descent,” states Eric Caen, president of Interplay. “As game creators, we are proud of the entertainment these properties have provided over the years.”
Caen didn’t say what Interplay plans to do at this point, or if they’re truly going out of business, but he’s optimistic about sending the company’s babies off to foster homes. “With the proliferation of mobile, augmented reality, virtual reality and other new forms of consumption, we believe that consumers are ready to experience and interact with Interplay’s characters, stories and game play in ways never possible before. We look forward to seeing how this unique portfolio of interactive entertainment icons will evolve for the worldwide audience.”
It would be wonderful if Earthworm Jim found a new loving home where he was finally taken care of instead of neglected for so many years. The risk is too great that he’ll wind up in the wrong hands, and in a cheap freemium game two years from now. The problem is that the places that would know what to do with him aren’t the kind that can throw cash at things like this. If somebody really rich is reading this, can you do the gaming world a favor? Buy Jim and gift him to Double Fine, Telltale or Wayforward as a Christmas present. Thank you!