Previously stated to be on “pause" while the powers that be thought of something to do with it, the Prince of Persia franchise could be poised for a substantial comeback that isn’t entirely rooted in the familiar reboot trappings we’ve seen in the past.
While the franchise almost became something it wasn’t on more than one occasion (modern combat prince, God of War inspired prince), Ubisoft may have enlisted the services of a 3rd party developer to help reinvigorate the franchise.
No major announcements have been made concerning the Prince of Persia franchise for quite some time, but none other Climax Studios could be tackling an entry in the series. Uncovered on NeoGAF, the official site of Climax lists an unannounced “character action platformer” with a 2013 release that oddly enough has a classic Prince of Persia vibe.
Far from being a case of Climax being inspired by PoP or taking on a project which seeks to be a carbon copy, the images of the protagonist shown in the screens does bare a resemblance to Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame. Currently Ubisoft is prepping an iOS based remake of Pop: The Shadow and the Flame, though the fidelity of the screens shown by Climax does look to be a step up – perhaps hinting at a possible PSN/XBLA title.
The screens posted by Climax are rather interesting since visually things look well designed and it confirms that the game is a 2.5D action title – much like the old PoP games. Compared to the promise the PoP series holds as an epic action-adventure game it may be disappointing that we’re bound to receive a 2.5D game, however traditional it may be.
As to how or why Ubisoft would entail Climax to handle a presumably major entry in the PoP series is anyone’s guess. Rarely utilizing the services of external studios for key products, with the exception of mobile/handheld efforts. Perhaps Ubisoft has simply chosen to save their resources for other projects while Climax handles things; amounting to what could be a double test of sorts (the viability of the PoP franchise, reliability of 3rd party dev partners).
Ubisoft has kept the Prince of Persia franchise dormant since 2010 while they’ve essentially gone wild milking Assassin’s Creed as much as they can. There’s certainly still a place for the good old Prince in this generation of gaming, and one can hope that he eventually makes a proper return in one form or another.