Does David Perry regret selling Earthworm Jim?
A portion of a Kikizo interview with David Perry…
Kikizo: How does it make you feel in hindsight though, about, selling your sort of - I don’t know if you regard it as your ‘original hit’ but it’s certainly what made you famous in the industry - Earthworm Jim? If you could go back, would you have sold it in the same way, or would you have put more conditions on the sale of the IP?
Perry: Yeah, I would never have sold it in the first place. The thing that people didn’t understand at the time was that the industry was going 3D. And I was funding it personally, so I was funding everything out of my own bank account. And I was being asked on a constant basis, “can you buy a Silicon Graphics $25,000 computer, and oh, we need the software too, that’s another $25,000…” - I was just writing checks left and right, trying to understand how we were going to move our company into 3D. And I was getting pushed back, because the team was a 2D team, that actually used pencils! So our skill - I think our secret to success - was that we had people who could draw with pencils, and draw fantastically, so that their animation was great. And to say to those guys: “put down your pencils, guys! We’re going with 3D packages…” - packages that are horrible, by the way, because remember Version 1 of 3D Studio back then was dreadful. And they just were like, this is not something we’re interested in doing.
So it was a difficult time. It wasn’t an easy decision for me. It seemed smart to just get out, and not have to bet the farm on that, and it turned out to be the dumbest move ever. Because the team, the next game we made was MDK, which was a 3D game, and it just won awards everywhere. So suddenly, you know, we absolutely pulled off making 3D. So I was like: “Shit”. [laughs]