Prince of Persia: Redemption is a cancelled reboot of the classic series, that was internally pitched at Ubisoft Montreal (FoxTeam) around 2010 – 2011, just after the release of The Forgotten Sands. The project was mostly unknown until May 2020, when fans finally noticed a video uploaded on Youtube in 2012 by an anonymous user. By looking at this footage, the game looked like a mix between 3D Prince of Persia, God of War, Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed: a cinematic adventure game with huge monsters and time-rewind mechanics.
“Wow – haven’t seen this in ages. Amazing work from animation director Khai Nguyen (For Honor) and team. This target game footage (pre-rendered game pitch) inspired our own pitch for Assassin’s Creed 3 as they did such a great job making it look like real gameplay.
Sadly Ubisoft are generally quicker to cancel Prince of Persia games than others IPs because AFAIK original creator Jordan Mechner still holds license rights so the profit margins are lower. Would love to see a new one though. I’ve always wanted a PoP set in contemporary Iran.”
We can assume The Forgotten Sands did not sell enough for Ubisoft to invest more resources on another title, preferring to focus on the more profitable Assassin’s Creed series.
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones is an action-adventure game developed and published by Ubisoft Montreal. It was released in December 2005 for the Xbox, PC, PlayStation 2 and the GameCube. In the game the Prince develops a split personality, known as the Dark Prince, and this alter-ego constantly bickers with him in his mind about right and wrong. At times, the Prince physically transforms into the Dark Prince. [Info from Wikipedia]
As noticed by Zapages from the NeoGAF Forum, initially the Dark Prince had a different design than the one in the final version. Check the videos below for a comparison:
Do you remember those small screens from an early Prince of Persia: Prodigy prototype that were released by Surfer Girl in January 2008? Well, now we are able to see that “alpha” version (aka Prince of Persia Zero) in motion.. and it was really beautiful, even if the final game was not like this. It seems that they created various different concepts for the project before choosing its final style. Check the video below to see PoP0 in motion:
Update: as we can read over at GameSetWatch, thanks to “David Pettitt” we learn that this video was “a target render that the team pitched the game with”. It seems that Ubisoft showed the full Target Render at a Vancouver SIGGRAPH event. Anyone has the full video?
Update: The user Danyq94 found that video on YouTube:
Prince of Persia Prodigy (also know as Prince of Persia Zero in its early beta days) is an action-adventure and platforming game developed by Ubisoft Montreal. It was released on December 2, 2008 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Proof of conception for this new title was found in September 2006, when a file that was leaked to the internet was found to contain concept art for the game, although Ubisoft didn’t announce the game until May 2008. [Infos from Wikipedia]
In january 2008, Surfer Girl released some screenshots from an early prototype of this new Prince Of Persia, in which the main character was followed by a mysterious flying girl. As you know, the final game has not flying-girls that follow the prince. As we can read over at GameSetWatch, thanks to “David Pettitt” we learn that this version was “a target render that the team pitched the game with”. It seems that Ubisoft showed the full Target Render at a Vancouver SIGGRAPH event. Below you can see the full video!
Some other rumors even say that originally Assassin’s Creed was meant to be part of the Prince of Persia series. Probably Ubisoft created a lot of different ideas for the project, before choosing the final one.
Even the released game has some differences from the official beta screens that we can find online. As noticed by FullMetalMC:
Different colors for the Hunter
Elika’s clothing is a bit different
A removed enemy
Prince’s sword has a alternate design
Elikas magic has less detail
In an interview with Prince of Persia Producer Ben Mattes, we can read more about Elika’s development:
To further answer your initial question of how her design evolved, at the beginning of the game, one of the things we were thinking about was — should she have more of an autonomous personality? Should she have a little bit more autonomy as a gameplay mechanic?
So we developed ideas of her sometimes taking the lead, or her sometimes wandering off and looking at key game points, or her basically just taking initiative. Some of them only got as far as concepts and brainstorms, some of them actually got as far as prototypes, but what we quickly realised was there was a lot of design that had to be done in terms of simplifying Elika’s involvement to make sure we delivered on that promise that she never gets in the way and she’s never a negative.
We had instances where we had interest points in the world — little objects that would attract her attention, and if you idled for a few minutes she would wander over to one of those objects to look at it, but then the player would, y’know, haul ass to the left and Elika’s wandering over there looking at that thing and then he has to stop and wait and go and get her and bring her back, and it was these things that detracted from that overall core message, which is more important than anything else.
[…] initially we kicked around the ideas of Elika being a young girl, but that brought up the whole babysitting thing, and then we toyed very briefly with the idea of Elika being a partner like a brother or a father figure or something, but it didn’t have the kind of sexual tension that’s fun to play with. And then within a couple of months we had the design of Elika almost fully fleshed out as it exists now.
Thanks to Surfer Girl & Grahamx227 for the contribution!