Back in August, SEGA ran a poll to see which Genesis/Mega Drive game we gamers want on the Xbox Live Arcade. You might remember that originally, Earthworm Jim
was included in that poll and was winning by a vast majority of the votes, only to be removed a couple of days later once it was discovered that the license holders, (Interplay Entertainment, the game's publisher) were already remaking the game to be re-released on the XBLA platform.
You may also remember that once Earthworm Jim
was removed from the poll, that the victor was ToeJam & Earl
, again by quite a large margin. Well... you'll never believe what's happened...
Rather than explain it myself, it'd be best to hear it straight from the horse's mouth so to speak. Check below for the quote directly from Greg Johnson, co-founder of Toe Jam & Earl Productions and owner of all TJ&E
intellectual property rights:
They sort of got ahead of themselves a little bit and didn't realize that they don't have the rights to the property. It's an easy mistake to make – with every game contract being different, and new versions of contracts for releases always superseding old contracts, and rights' expiration dates, etc. Anyway, I'm waiting to hear back from them to pick up the conversation. The ball is in their court at the moment. Feel free to ask me again down the road, and I may know more.
It definitely seems like pretty poor foresight and research on SEGA's part. Not once, but twice. Fortunately, it doesn't sound like the ToeJam & Earl
port is completely out of the question, but I can't imagine we'll be rediscovering our '90s love of backward caps and funk soundtracks any time soon.