Greg Johnson has been in the game industry for a long time. Having designed 16-bit Sega icons ToeJam & Earl way back in the early 90s and now running Humanature Studios, he's seen his creation rise to fame and subsequently slip into gaming history as the years ticked by. But last summer, when Sega created a poll tasking fans with selecting the next Genesis title to get the XBLA treatment, ToeJam & Earl popped back up on our industry's collective radar by taking the gold.
But it's not so simple! Johnson says Sega may have "got ahead of themselves a little bit" with that announcement "and didn't realize that they don't have the rights to the property." Apparently, Johnson assures us, "it's an easy mistake to make." This same shortcoming is also the reason why the characters will not be appearing in the upcoming Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, though showing up as DLC is still a possibility. "TJ&E will not be included ... and the option for including them as downloadable content is still open," Johnson said. "Sega said they're not ready to talk about that yet because they haven't started making any definite plans, but they promised to give me a shout when they get there – so hopefully we'll be able to work something out."
More interesting yet, it seems that Mr. Johnson shopped around the idea for a Nintendo DS multiplayer ToeJam & Earl game – though his pitch unfortunately met with deaf ears at "pretty much all of [the game publishers]." Check out some images of what could have been in the gallery below and continue past the break for more from our conversation with Greg Johnson.