Gamescomâ??09: Microsoft secures XBLA timed-exclusivity deal

Interplay to resurrect Earthworm Jim

Gameloft has agreed a licensing deal with developer Interplay that will see the arrival of a new Earthworm Jim title – bringing an end to a decade of absence for the franchise.

Details of the new Jim project are scarce, yet it is known that the new game is being developed for digital platforms, from WiiWare to PSN to mobiles.

However, Gameloft has struck an agreement with Microsoft to release the title across XBLA for around one month before any other platform.

Earthworm Jim’s imminent arrival marks the revival of a franchise after ten years of dormancy. The last full installment of the series was released back in 1999 on Nintendo’s N64 system.

“Earthworm Jim resonates with millions of people worldwide and we are excited to have one of the best developers in the industry create this game for a new audience," said Interplay CEO Herve Caen.

"Gameloft’s creativity coupled with its innate knack for innovative games, makes us 100 per cent confident that the result will be nothing short of stellar."

Gameloft VP Gonzague de Vallois said he was “delighted” to announce the new game during this week’s Gamescom event in cologne.

"The game, with its humorous and edgy style, is a great fit for today’s gamer who craves a fully immersive experience that is fun and easily accessible. We look forward to delivering a fantastic game," he added.

The title is due for release later in the year.

Meanwhile, Gameloft’s surprise announcement has affected a current poll conducted by Sega, where the publisher is asking fans which Genesis/MegaDrive games they would like to see return to various digital platforms.

It is believe that Earthworm Jim was leading the poll before Gameloft announced their new version of the game.

Sega has removed the 16-bit edition from the ongoing poll.

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