A remake of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time — the 2003 series reboot for PC and consoles of the time — is coming in January. Ubisoft announced Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will launch Jan. 21, 2021 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.
“It’s a dream that is coming true,” said Annu Koul, senior producer with Ubisoft Pune, the India-based studio in charge of the remake. “Still, people have that nostalgic feeling, people want to play that game. … You still have all of the characters, the Prince, the Princess, Farah, the Vizier, the original villain, it’s just we have given it a good bit more flavor, more enhancement.”
The announcement trailer added that fans can unlock the original Prince of Persia, launched in 1992 for Mac, within the remake, and “even more surprises” are included.
Signs this year had subtly pointed to some kind of return for the action-adventure. In mid-August, Twitter observers found product listings for just such a game. Ubisoft Montréal also staged a crossover within For Honor back in March, which got some fans’ attention, too. The game announced, however, is not the unreleased, canceled-in-development project whose footage surfaced in May.
The most recent new release in the Prince of Persia series, which dates to 1989, was 2008’s Prince of Persia, for PlayStation 3, Windows PC, and Xbox 360. The series has receded in importance as Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise grew into a near-annual blockbuster. Ubisoft has also faced criticism that it favors Assassin’s Creed over new Prince of Persia games because of financial obligations to series creator Jordan Mechner.
Mechner quickly followed Thursday’s announcement with a blog post extolling the remake. He said he had no role in its development, but was kept abreast of progress by Ubisoft Pune and Mumbai developers.
“Last week, I played a recent build. It gave me tingles,” Mechner said. “I was relieved to discover that my gameplay reflexes and level-map memories of fifteen years ago are still valid, letting me fluidly navigate a newly-rendered game world that’s lush, sensual, and immersive in ways the Montréal team and I could only dream of in 2003.”
Ubisoft claims it’s working to address reports of harassment, sexual misconduct, and racial insensitivity at the company, in the wake of employees speaking out about a longstanding toxic work culture. Since those stories emerged, multiple executives have resigned or been fired from Ubisoft. The company’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, issued a public apology in a video released ahead of the company’s latest Ubisoft Forward presentation, saying he’s “fully committed to leading the change at Ubisoft and to ensuring we always uphold and exemplify our core values.” Guillemot’s comments were notably not included in the live Ubisoft Forward presentation.
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