It’s sad for gaming fans when their previously announced gaming favorites get stuck in the development hell. The initial joys of pleasant anticipation turn into a lingering feeling of dread once the initial announcement hype fades into silence, unbroken by any news from the developers to assure us that the games of our dreams are still being carefully developed. Apparently, that was the case with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, the long-awaited revival of the series.
The Prince of Persia game in question is actually a remake of the best game in the series; it was initially scheduled for release on 21 January 2021 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, developed by India-based Ubisoft Mumbai and Ubisoft Pune. Unfortunately, the game got delayed several times, leading fans to believe it would suffer the same fate as the announced Beyond Good & Evil 2, which fell into dead silence after the announcement. However, Ubisoft decided to remain dedicated to this remake and, as Destructoid reports, took the game to a more capable developer — Ubisoft Montreal. You can see this announcement below:
After its announcement in 2020, the Prince of Persia gaming series fans, though glad that their favorite title is being redone and modernized, criticized the game’s lackluster graphics. Ubisoft responded that the game’s visual style was an intentional choice, as they wanted the game to feel unique to modern games but delayed the game to 18 March 2021. Finally, however, the company caved under fans’ pressure and postponed the game indefinitely.
The reason behind the indefinite delay was Ubisoft’s desire to deliver a modern remake that remains faithful to the original Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time video game. The company’s quarterly financial report revealed that the game was expected to launch in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, though Ubisoft hasn’t officially and publicly revealed those details, suggesting trouble behind closed curtains. And apparently, there was trouble in the game’s development at India-based studios, so Ubisoft decided to bring in the experts — Ubisoft Montreal — the birthplace of the epic Sands of Time trilogy.
While this is fantastic and encouraging news that shows Ubisoft’s dedication to finishing and delivering the remake, it also bears some bad news. The company has stated that Ubisoft Montreal will build the remake upon the work achieved by their less capable development studios, but it will take time to deliver the best gaming experience a Prince of Persia title deserves, stating that the game will release when it’s ready — delivering us yet another delay.
This begs the following question: why has Ubisoft granted the development of the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake to their less-capable studios, like Pune and Mumbai? Sure, the game isn’t going to be a profit driver such as Assassin’s Creed gaming series, but why give such an important piece of gaming history over to smaller studios? Admittedly, Prince of Persia isn’t the well-known franchise as it used to be, and recent generations of gamers might even recognize it as an Assassin’s Creed clone, but those with sedimented gaming experience know that it’s the other way around.
Luckily, Ubisoft recognized that the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake isn’t progressing as it should at its smaller developers and has brought in someone who previously worked on the game, much to the fans’ excitement. So, they effectively signaled their dedication to the remake and the fact that perhaps for the first time in history, the remake isn’t just a half-baked money grab. We, the gamers, have no issues with money grabs as long as they deliver what was promised.