I often come across top-ten lists of the best video games on a certain platform, of a certain year, of all time, and even the worst ones.
But as 2015 began, I decided to go back to good old retro-consoles and live over the long-lost franchises; Crash Bandicoot, Midnight Club, Onimusha, Shadow of Colossus. Even after all these years, games like these keep you enthralled, but wouldn’t it be amazing to see these titles return to current-gen console in some shape; be it an HD remake?
One such game which is out of discussion for a couple years is Ubisoft’s third-person action franchise, Prince of Persia.
The company notorious for turning every IP into a franchise and most recently, messing up Assassin’s Creed: Unity took PoP to a whole new level after Broderbund.
I witnessed the evolution of the franchise and see it more and more refined with each installment (with a couple exceptions), but I believe it’s high time to bestow fans with a new PoP title.
No doubt the studio is trying to formulate and experiment with its yearly action franchise, Assassin’s Creed: Series, coming up with new IPs like Watch Dogs and The Division, and even resurrecting titles such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. But even the notion of a current-gen PoP with its revamped mechanics and a new setting seems fascinating enough.
The studio did release back-to-back installments from 2003 to 2008 across multiple platforms including handhelds, but since 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, there’s no concrete news of any title in the making for any platform.
Since the first Assassin’s Creed title launched back in 2007, I like to theorize that the studio put off PoP to shift its focus on its new promising IP. However, after what happened with 2014’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Ubisoft is in the dire need of changing its game plan and may be hold off AC for an year or so and give itself time to resurrect franchises like PoP – only if the studio does it right!
However, the prospect seems highly unlikely since Ubisoft has already confirmed that a new AC dubbed Assassin’s Creed: Victory is currently in development at Quebec Studio and will launch in Fall 2015. May be not this year, but the studio should definitely rethink its strategy and where it wishes to proceed with titles like PoP.
In January 2014, Ubisoft’s Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat stated that the franchise is nowhere dead and the studio voluntarily puts off a franchise to give it time to breathe and grow.
He also stated that Prince of Persia is a major part of Ubisoft’s portfolio and all fans who look forward to playing a new game shouldn’t be scared since the franchise is on hold and will return when ready:
I’m not scared at all for Prince of Persia fans. We’ll find something to entertain them with in the future. Prince of Persia is part of Ubisoft’s portfolio. As a matter of fact, we sometimes iterate on franchises and sometimes we give them time to breathe and time to grow, or time to rest. Prince of Persia is as important as any other franchise for Ubisoft. As soon as we have something to show, we will.
However, a few months later, Ubisoft’s European Head Alain Corre stated that a new installment of Prince of Persia series is being developed alongside Far Cry 4 and Beyond Good & Evil 2.
But, provided the number of titles the studio brings out each year, it may take a long while, but at least there is hope. He also added that there are a lot of franchises under cooking, but some take longer to get ready than others:
It will happen when we feel it is ready, when the creators have brought something interesting. That’s the case for all our franchises. They’re cooking. Some are cooking longer than others, but they’re cooking.
By the time this news emerged, we also received a leaked screenshot which many believed to be the next PoP Game because it had the term ‘POP_ZERO_2’ written lower-right corner. Another important aspect of this leaked image was that it showed the crowd wearing the Egyptian attire instead of typical Persian.
However, it was later revealed that Prince of Persia: Zero was a codename for a modern POP title which Ubisoft scrapped a couple years back. But now that the current-gen consoles have developed well into their product cycle, Ubisoft should probably take a break from its yearly installments and debut the game on PS4 and Xbox One.
The most recent installment of Prince of Persia was Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands which was released back in 2010 closely followed by Prince of Persia Classic Trilogy HD in 2011.
Would you take a break from Assassin’s Creed for a year to get back to Prince of Persia once more? Let us know in the comments below!