Ubisoft announced a remake for Prince of Persia: Sands of Time back in 2020 with an expected release window of January 2021. Unfortunately, the game didn’t experience the smoothest of development and was pushed back to March 2021 soon after, and then pushed back indefinitely, this time in hopes of securing a 2022 release date. However, it seems like the game still hasn’t escaped development hell despite all the delays.
We’ve heard very little about the remake outside of the prevalent issues behind the scenes. There has been only trailer for the game and that, too, was the one that accompanied the original announcement. Since the team has been so tight-lipped about the game’s release, everyone had kind of just subconsciously accepted that bad news is imminent. Today, that news has arrived and it certainly isn’t a good sign.
Shift in leadership
Taking to Twitter, the official Prince of Persia account posted an update on the game’s development which is now going to be led by a different studio. Originally, the game was being developed by Ubisoft Pune and Ubisoft Mumbai, two Indian divisions of the company’s development teams. The first showing of this remake was met with lukewarm responses which was the initial reason for the game’s subsequent delays.
An update on the development of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake pic.twitter.com/8xQpqyPSwQ
— Prince of Persia (@princeofpersia) May 3, 2022
Now, the Prince of Persia remake will be headed by Ubisoft Montréal, the studio behind the original classic and the creators of the Sands of Time trilogy. This means the project has been taken off Ubisoft Mumbai and Pune’s hands, though the work they’ve already done will, obviously, not be put to waste. The new team will build upon the progress made thus far by the Indian studios.
This decision is an important step and the team, building upon the work achieved by Ubisoft Pune and Ubisoft Mumbai, will now take the time they need to regroup on the scope of the game to deliver you the best experience for this remake of an all-time classic, when it’s ready.
The update mentions how Ubisoft Montréal team will take their time to “regroup on the scope of the game” which could mean either an reduction or increment in the game’s overall scale. Seeing how the development has been transferred to one of Ubisoft’s flagship teams, we can only expect and hope for good things. Of course, this could lead to another delay pushing the game back for the third time, but we don’t have any word on that yet.
We can’t pinpoint the exact reason as to why this change was made, but one could blame the pandemic as the primary constituent. India recently had a COVID-19 surge in January of this year and Ubisoft Mumbai employees only returned to the studio last week after a long period of working remotely from home. That mixed with the supposed underwhelming quality displayed by the teams could be seen as the main factors that pushed Ubisoft to take this decision.
As I mentioned, a delay is more than likely imminent. Unless Ubisoft Montreal can work some magic and wort at excessive pace to finish the game in time for a 2023 release. Though, a concrete release window was never announced and the game was most recently delayed “indefinitely” so I guess it can’t be delayed after all? Ubisoft confirmed that they’ll provide an update soon saying “Rest assured, that we will update you on the progress in a future update“.