Dear Namco & Interplay,
You may be wondering why I am addressing this humble letter to both of you, for on the surface, you have nothing to do with each other. You are two completely different companies in two completely different places. However, you are inextricably mentally linked right now due to the proximity with which announcements were made regarding two of your venerable retro IPs — namely Splatterhouse and Earthworm Jim, respectively.
In this letter, I want to make a request to both of you. I know I am but a humble blogger, but please heed my call. You see, I don’t want either of you to drop the ball here. You don’t need me to tell you, but you each have in your hands a pair of titles that hardcore gamers know well, and would love to enjoy all over again. But it is not just one’s selfish desire for a good game that has urged me to write this, it is something slightly more than that. I am not merely writing this for myself, but for all gamers who found the day in which two long dead franchises rose from the ashes to be a good one. Together, you did the impossible. The unthinkable. The amazing.
You made gamers happy.
I was as overjoyed as anyone when I saw the news that both Splatterhouse and Earthworm Jim would be returning with full force. In fact, I broke both stories to the Destructoid readers with pure glee etched into my face. Growing up in a poor family, I never had a lot of games in my youth, and when retro games are talked about, rarely do I have any memories, or knowledge of the games at hand. However, I have played and enjoyed Splatterhouse 2, and Earthworm Jim … well, the games were fun, if too difficult for my stupid child head and the cartoon series was simply amazing. These are games I actually know, and my excitement was and is boundless.
But that was not the only source of joy to be found on the day these two announcements broke. After posting each story, what followed was an almost unanimous outpouring of support from the community. Sure, there were one or two cynical comments, but nothing like usual. For once, I looked out into the sea of hardcore gamers, and what did I see? Not the bitter barbs of sarcasm nor the burned talons of battle-hardened thumbstick jockeys who’d seen too many failures to care anymore. No, for once, I saw sunlight, I saw smiles. For the first time in a long time, I saw the hardcore gaming community … happy. Almost completely happy.
And it made me happy as well. One of the biggest joys of that fateful day was not the actual announcements themselves, but seeing how excited and thrilled everybody was. In a world where the revelation of a new Sonic the Hedgehog game illicit only rolling eyes and disgusted tutting, actually seeing the community collectively celebrate was something almost magical to behold. It made me really happy to see everyone so excited, and that’s not something you would catch me saying often.
Here is the gist, friends — both of you did something astonishing, and I don’t want to one day look back on that day with bitterness and regret. I don’t want our excitement to be misguided. Most of all, I don’t want the day I saw everyone so happy to be marred by the grim, cold reality that is two shit games. I know both of you are capable of making good games, so I ask you — do so. For the sake of hardcore gamers everywhere.
You owe us nothing, I know, but we are here, prepared to sing your praises and carry you into the street in jubilation if you deliver. I actually really hope that you proud men and women developing these games actually read this and see that people care. I want to, in some small way, inspire you to great things. I want the support of the gaming community as a whole to inspire you. Look upon the sea of smiling faces, the hope you have instilled, and realize that you can bring even greater elation by delivering two great games.
From where I am standing … we are nearly all on your side.
Please don’t screw up.