Earthworm Jim 4 is an announced (but as yet unreleased) game in the Earthworm Jim video game series. The game will be developed with character creator Douglas TenNapel, formerly of Shiny Entertainment who will also serve as the project's creative consultant. It was rumored to be released on Nintendo Wii, but TenNapel has since stated this was false.
Earthworm Jim 4 was first announced by the Interplay Entertainment in 2008, who had the rights to the franshise. While series creator Doug TenNapel later denied work on it had ever started in 2010, Interplay referred to the game as "still in development" as of May 2011, when Interplay sold the rights of the Fallout MMO to Bethesda.
Interplay, who had previously halted game development due to financial trouble, announced they were restarting game development again, and listed Earthworm Jim as a series they would resurrect. The new game was tentatively titled as Earthworm Jim 4 shortly after this, on April 22, 2008. Interplay also announced that original Earthworm Jim creator and voice actor Doug TenNapel would return as a "creative consultant" on Earthworm Jim 4, a new animated television series, and a feature film.
While no details were released in regards to which video game console it would be released on, or a prospective release date, the company did announce the intention to release a new animated television series, and eventually a feature film, to tie in with the game. However, there have been no further announcements with regards to this since.
No news was announced on the game for over two years, until April 2010, when rumors arose that Doug TenNapel had started confirming details about the game, most notably that he was actively working on the game, and that it would be a title for the Nintendo Wii. TenNapel later addressed all the rumors as false; he had not been working on an Earthworm Jim 4 at all, nor had any work been done on it in general.
TenNapel said in his statement:
TenNapel also emphasized the importance of getting the original team members back together (such as David Perry and Nick Bruty) and being able to adapt to the higher production values and demands of the current generation of video game consoles. Overall, he said that while Interplay was still interested in doing the game, no development, or terms of it, had been completed.
Another year passed before anything was heard about the game again. In May, 2011, Interplay announced that they were experiencing financial troubles again, including "substantial debt" and continued operating losses, and that could leave many future games in jeopardy. Despite TenNapel's comments a year prior, in these reports, Interplay listed the game as "Earthworm Jim 4, a project still in development but at an unknown state."
Dave Perry's commentary
At the "Develop" conference in July 2012, David Perry released a statement that he's sure there will be another Earthworm Jim game. Perry claimed the problem was "when", not "if", as, while the development team members discuss the project actively, they are all busy with their separate projects and companies. A possible premise he outlined was,
While details regarding just how much Jim being out of shape would affect game design are still up in the air, Perry mentioned being pretty certain that the game would be played in 2D.
Nick Bruty's commentary