The Internet Uncovers a Gameplay Video For a Canceled Prince of Persia Game
Prince of Persia is a series rife with cancelations and false hopes. Things didn't always used to be that way, however. There was a time when Ubisoft was putting out title after title every couple of years. One such title apparently never saw the light of day, but it has seen new life lately in the form of a video clip uncovered from the darker depths of YouTube. Just the other day, a ResetEra user discovered the video, which was titled the supposed name of the canceled game: Prince of Persia Redemption. Here comes the weirdest part though; the video was sitting undetected at around a mere 150 views, and it was uploaded in early 2012. With the clip now being uncovered, the views have shot up to nearly 300K as of the time of this writing. How in the world did the footage go completely undetected for eight years? No one seems to know.
It didn't take long for some industry veterans to take notice of the clip. Jonathan Cooper, an animator who has worked on huge titles like Assassin's Creed 3, Uncharted 4, and Mass Effect took to Twitter to share his reaction to the found footage. According to him, the video is entirely a pitch designed to envision what the gameplay would have been like. "Wow - haven't seen this in ages," Cooper says. "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." And sure enough, AC3 released later that year, the same year the PoP Redemption video was put out. The video is around three minutes long, and shows the main character traversing through a crumbling city and taking on baddies with various weaponry and powers.
As cool as the finding is, it also serves as a double-edged sword, reminding fans that there hasn't been a new mainline Prince of Persia title in a decade now. We're approaching the 10 year anniversary for The Forgotten Sands here in just a week or so, which makes the timing of the footage all the more ironic. It's not quite clear why the series has gone on the back burner for so long, but there are theories about it. Cooper has his own, which he followed up his initial tweet with. "Sadly Ubisoft are generally quicker to cancel Prince of Persia games than [other IPs] because [as far as I know] original creator Jordan Mechner still holds license rights so the profit margins are lower." He concluded by wishing for a new PoP game, possibly even one that takes place in Iran. The series started out under the creation of Jordan Mechner, and sifted through a couple of different developers for the first few titles. From Sands of Time onwards, Ubisoft took up the helm. The most recent entry in the series was a mobile spinoff 'runner' game in 2018 called 'Prince of Persia: Escape'.
Who knows, though. Maybe with the uncovering of Redemption's footage, sparks will be ignited somewhere and a new game could be pitched. If what Cooper says is true, it may just be down to financial expectations. Either way, you can check out the video down below. It's crazy how long it sat unnoticed on YouTube. Just goes to show you how many cool things the Internet could be hiding around every nook and cranny. It's all certainly going to make the Prince of Persia fanbase that much louder in the coming weeks. According to multiple sources, Ubisoft has yet to comment on the clip in any official capacity. One Ubisoft employee (assistant technical director Andre Belleau), simply had this to say about it: "Where did you get that?!" To call this video old gold wouldn't be doing it justice. A remarkable case of "what could have been".