Prince of Persia

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This article is about the entire Prince of Persia video game series. For other uses, see Prince of Persia (disambiguation).
Prince of Persia
Princeofpersialogo.jpg
The logo for the 2008 Prince of Persia game.
Genres Cinematic platformer, Action-adventure
Developers Brøderbund, Red Orb, Ubisoft, Pipeworks, Gameloft
Publishers Brøderbund, TLC, Mattel, Ubisoft, SCEJ
Creators Jordan Mechner
Platforms Amiga, Android, Apple II, Atari ST, Dreamcast, FM Towns, Game Boy (Advance, Color), iPad, iOS, Macintosh (OS X), Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES, GameCube, DS), PlayStation 2 (3, Portable), Sega CD (Genesis, Master System), TurboGrafx-CD, Xbox (360), Wii
Platform of origin Apple II
First release Prince of Persia
3 October 1989; 24 years ago (1989-10-03)
Latest release Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame (iOS)
July 25, 2013
Official website Prince of Persia official site

Prince of Persia is a video game franchise created by Jordan Mechner, originally published by Brøderbund, then the Learning Company, and currently Ubisoft. The franchise is built around a series of action-adventure games focused on various incarnations of the eponymous prince. The first game in the series was designed by Mechner after the success of his previous game with Brøderbund, Karateka. The title was successful enough to spawn two sequels: the series has been rebooted twice since its acquisition by Ubisoft, and has been successful enough to warrant a film adaptation, penned in part by Mechner and released by Walt Disney Pictures in 2010.[1]

Even though Mechner has been involved with the series in varying capacities throughout its history, the games themselves have been developed and published by several different companies. The first two games in the series, Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, were developed by Brøderbund for the Apple II. Prince of Persia 3D, the first to use 3D computer graphics, was developed by Red Orb Entertainment and published by The Learning Company on PC, and developed by Avalanche Software and published by Mattel Interactive on Sega Dreamcast. French-based video game company Ubisoft began developing and publishing the series in 2003 with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and so far have been the most prolific of any company in bringing out new games in the series.

Games[edit]

Timeline of release years
1989 – Prince of Persia 1989
1990 –
1991 –
1992 –
1993 – Prince of Persia 2
1994 –
1995 –
1996 –
1997 –
1998 –
1999 – Prince of Persia 3D
2000 –
2001 –
2002 –
2003 – PoP: The Sands of Time
2004 – PoP: Warrior Within
2005 – PoP: The Two Thrones / Battles of Prince of Persia
2006 –
2007 –
2008 – Prince of Persia 2008 / Prince of Persia: The Fallen King
2009 –
2010 – PoP: The Forgotten Sands

Original trilogy[edit]

The first game in the series, simply titled Prince of Persia, was created by Jordan Mechner after the success of Karateka. Drawing from multiple general sources of inspiration, including the Arabian Nights stories,[2] and films like Raiders of the Lost Ark[3] and The Adventures of Robin Hood,[4] the protagonist's character animation was created using a technique called Rotoscope, with Mechner using his brother as the model for the titular prince.[5] Despite the success of the game, Mechner enrolled in New York University's film department, producing an award-winning short film during his time there, before finally returning to Brøderbund four years later to make a sequel to the original game.[6] Production for the game, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, was led by Brian Eheler, the first game's director, and Sherman Dickman, while Mechner acted as a creative consultant. The game, like its predecessor, received critical acclaim and high sales, but the company fell on financial difficulties, leading to its purchase by The Learning Company,[7] which later merged with US gaming company Mattel.[8] On top of that, Mechner's next game for Brøderbund, a point-and-click called The Last Express, was a financial failure, resulting in Mechner withdrawing from the company.[6] Development for the third game in the series, Prince of Persia 3D, was given to Red Orb Entertainment, a former subsidiary of Brøderbund, with Mechner again working as writer and co-designer.[6] The game was released in 1999, before the main bug checks could be carried out,[9] and was a critical and commercial disappointment.[6] The event resulted in the Learning Company selling its entertainment division to Ubisoft, the assets of which included the Prince of Persia franchise.[10]

The Sands of Time series[edit]

Mechner, who owned the Prince of Persia IP, was brought in to work with Ubisoft on a reboot of the franchise, eventually titled Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, although he was originally wary after his experience with the last two Prince of Persia games.[11] The team they worked with were also working on Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: their aim with the new Prince of Persia was to breathe new life into the action-adventure genre.[12][13] The Sands of Time was an instant success, although it suffered from lower-than expected sales, leading to the team behind it reworking the aesthetic formula slightly. Mechner did not take part the production of the next game, Warrior Within, and he later commented on finding the dark atmosphere and heightened level of violence unappealing.[14] The changes also provoked mixed reactions from critics, but sales for the series increased and a third game, eventually titled The Two Thrones, went into production.[15] For The Two Thrones, the developers and artists tried to strike a balance between the light, cartoon-like tones of Sands of Time, and the grittier mediums of Warrior Within.[16] In November 2008, Ubisoft revealed that they were working on a new entry in the franchise,[17] which turned out to be The Forgotten Sands, an interqual filling in some of the narrative gap between Sands of Time and Warrior Within.[18] The game was released in May 2010, timed to tie in with the film adaptation of the first game in the Sands of Time subseries, also titled The Sands of Time.[19]

Trilogy collection[edit]

The Prince of Persia Trilogy (known as Prince of Persia Trilogy 3D on the remastered collection's title screen) is a collection of The Sands of Time trilogy released on PlayStation 2 and subsequently on PlayStation 3 as part of the Classics HD range.[20] The collection includes The Sands of Time, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, all previously released on sixth-generation video game consoles and Microsoft Windows. The games were remastered in HD for the PlayStation 3 with 3D and PlayStation Network Trophy support on one Blu-ray Disc. The PS2 collection was released on October 27, 2006 in Europe,[21] while the remastered collection was released on November 19, 2010 on Blu-ray in PAL regions. The release marks the first Classics HD title to not be published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

In North America, the three games were originally released separately as downloadable only titles on the PlayStation Store. The first, The Sands of Time, was released on November 16, 2010 while the other two games followed in December 2010.[22] The Blu-ray version was to be released in North America on March 22, 2011[23] but the collection then ended up being delayed until April 19, 2011.

Spin-offs and mobile games[edit]

The first spin-off of the series was developed alongside and released in the same year as The Two Thrones for the Nintendo DS. It was titled Battles of Prince of Persia, and was a real-time strategy game set between Sands of Time and Warrior Within.[24] It received mediocre reviews from critics.[25][26] In 2006, concept designs surfaced hinting at another entry in the franchise.[27] The game, titled Prince of Persia was finally officially unveiled in 2008, with Ubisoft marketing it as a reboot of the franchise, with its level and combat design harking back to the original 1989 game.[28] The game came out in December 2008, receiving positive reviews from most video game outlets and decent sales.[29] Alongside the main game, Ubisoft's Casablanca branch developed a direct sequel and spin-off to the reboot for the Nintendo DS, titled Prince of Persia: The Fallen King.[30] The game was released alongside the main game, and received fair reviews.[31][32][33] So far, no more games set within the reboot world have been made.[15] There have been a number of Java ME mobile games developed by Gameloft, some based on older PC or console titles with 2D graphics and others loosely based on contemporary games but with 2D graphics and different gameplay due to technology constraints. Gameloft has also developed some ports for both the iPhone and the iPad.[34] Specifically, the company has developed HD remakes of the original Prince of Persia in 2007,[35] and its sequel The Shadow and the Flame in July 2013.[36] While the stealth-action series Assassin's Creed shares little but basic gameplay concepts, it has been called the Prince of Persia series' spiritual successor.[37]

Future[edit]

In 2012, leaked images from an eventually-cancelled Ubisoft project entitled Osiris[38] were widely assumed to be the next Prince of Persia title.[39] Jordan Mechner even commented on his Twitter account that the images were not from a Prince of Persia game.[40] A year later, in 2013, Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal, said that the franchise was being "paused", saying that "As soon as we have something to show, we will".[41] In the following months, Ubisoft confirmed that they were either planning or considering next-gen entries in multiple franchises, including Prince of Persia.[42]

Adaptations[edit]

Graphic novel[edit]

Jordan Mechner finished writing the story for a graphic novel in 2007. The novel was written by A.B. Sina, and illustrated by Alex Puvilland and LeUyen Pham. It was released by First Second Books in autumn 2008.[43][44] The story follows two Princes, jumping to and from the 9th and 13th centuries. Although it belongs to the franchise the plot is not related to any of the game continuities or that of the 2010 film.[45]

Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm[edit]

"Before the Sandstorm" is a 2010 one-shot comic book that serves as a direct prequel to the feature film and thus explains the motives and backgrounds of some characters. It was published by Disney press and written by Jordan Mechner with illustrations by Todd McFarlane, Nico Henrichon, David Lopez and Bernard Chang.

Lego Prince of Persia[edit]

Main article: Lego Prince of Persia

Film adaptation[edit]

Reception[edit]

Awards[edit]

The success of the Prince of Persia series resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the series 6 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008.[citation needed]These records include, "First Motion-Capture Animation in a Video Game" and "Highest Rated Platformer on PS2 and Xbox".

Impact and legacy[edit]

Under his associated act, "The Classic" (더 클래식) in 1994, South Korean singer-songwriter Kim Kwang-Jin (김광진) released the song, Magic Castle (마법의 성) with lyrics inspired from the storyline of the original Prince of Persia.[46]

In 1992, Russian author Victor Pelevin wrote a book called A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia and other stories, in which there is a short story called Prince of Gosplan. The story is greatly influenced by the game; the main hero of the story lives in a mixed reality of real world and computer games and identifies himself as Prince of Persia. He tries to understand if his life is real or is he just seeing it on a computer display.[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prince of Persia trailer released". The Independent (London). 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  2. ^ Rus McLaughlin, Scott Collura, and Levi Buchanan (May 18, 2010). "IGN Presents: The History of Prince of Persia (page 1)". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  3. ^ Gamasutra - Features - Game Design: Theory & Practice Second Edition: 'Interview with Jordan Mechner'
  4. ^ Mechner, Jordan (2011). Classic Game Postmortem: PRINCE OF PERSIA (Speech). Game Developers Conference. San Francisco, California. Event occurs at 38:35. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  5. ^ October 20, 1985 | jordanmechner.com
  6. ^ a b c d Rus McLaughlin, Scott Collura, and Levi Buchanan (May 18, 2010). "IGN Presents: The History of Prince of Persia (page 2)". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  7. ^ Pelline, Jeff (June 22, 1998). "The Learning Co. buys Broderbund". CNET Networks. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  8. ^ Larry Dignan (December 14, 1998). "Mattel/The Learning Co. in $3.8B merger". ZDnet. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  9. ^ Prince of Persia Legacy: poplegacy.com
  10. ^ "The Learning Company Is Profitable 75 Days After Purchase From Mattel; Agrees To Sell Its Non-Core Entertainment Division To Ubi Soft Entertainment". The Gores Group. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  11. ^ Rus McLaughlin, Scott Collura, and Levi Buchanan (May 18, 2010). "IGN Presents: The History of Prince of Persia (page 3)". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  12. ^ "IGN: New Prince of Persia Announced". IGN. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  13. ^ "New Prince of Persia game announced - PlayStation 2 News at GameSpot". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  14. ^ Kohler, Chris (December 2005). "They Did What To My Game?!". Wired. p. 4. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  15. ^ a b Rus McLaughlin, Scott Collura, and Levi Buchanan (May 18, 2010). "IGN Presents: The History of Prince of Persia (page 4)". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  16. ^ Ivan Sulic (October 12, 2005). "Painting a Prince". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  17. ^ Chad Awkerman (Nov 30, 2009). "Ubisoft Announces New Prince of Persia Title". DualShockers. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  18. ^ Jim Reilly (November 30, 2009). "Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Announced". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  19. ^ Ellie Gibson (17 February 2010). "New Prince of Persia confirmed for May". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  20. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2010-09-25). "Mortal Kombat, Prince of Persia HD Collections Go 3D on PS3". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  21. ^ "Prince of Persia Trilogy release information for PlayStation 2". GameFaqs. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  22. ^ Jim Reilly (November 15, 2010). "Prince of Persia HD Titles Coming to North America". IGN. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  23. ^ Mike Harradence (February 1, 2011). "Splinter Cell Trilogy sneaking into shops in late March". PSU.com. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  24. ^ Craig Harris (July 21, 2005). "Battles of Prince of Persia". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  25. ^ "Battles of Prince of Persia DS". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  26. ^ "Battles of Prince of Persia for DS". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  27. ^ Wales, Matt (2006-09-21). "Ubi's Booby: New Games Leaked". IGN UK. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  28. ^ "Ubidays 2008: Interview Part 1 HD". Gametrailers.com. 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  29. ^ "Ubisoft reports third quarter 2008-09 sales" (PDF). Ubisoft. p. 1. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  30. ^ "UBISOFT ANNOUNCES PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE FALLEN KING™ EXCLUSIVELY FOR NINTENDO DS™". MCV. 27th 2008. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  31. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2008-12-10). "Prince of Persia: The Fallen King review at IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  32. ^ Petit, Carolyn (2008-12-10). "Prince of Persia: The Fallen King review at GameSpot". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  33. ^ Gallegos, Anthony (2008-12-17). "Prince of Persia: The Fallen King review at 1UP". 1UP. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  34. ^ "'Prince of Persia Retro' Arrives on the App Store as a Universal App for a Dollar". touch arcade. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  35. ^ "1UP Classic review". 1UP. 
  36. ^ Stephany Nunneley (Jul 3, 2013). "Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame hitting Android, iOS later this month". VG24/7. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  37. ^ "The Making Of: Assassin’s Creed". EDGE. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  38. ^ Shaun Prescott (31 Jan 2013). "Ubisoft project Osiris 'was cancelled before leak'". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  39. ^ "First Look at a Brand New Prince of Persia Reboot?". Kotaku.com. 2012-08-05. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  40. ^ "Twitter / jmechner: @blueobelix It's not POP". Twitter.com. 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  41. ^ Andrew Goldfarb (January 29, 2013). "Prince of Persia Franchise ‘Paused’". IGN. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  42. ^ Dave Cook (Jun 20, 2013). "Far Cry 4, Beyond Good & Evil 2 and Prince of Persia being considered at Ubisoft". VG24/7. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  43. ^ "Q&A: Mechner Talks Prince Of Persia Movie, XBLA Remake". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  44. ^ "Our Giant Guide To Video Game Comics". MTV. 
  45. ^ "Creator Jordan Mechner Explains The 'Prince Of Persia' Universe, And Where The New Graphic Novel Sits". MTV. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  46. ^ "Six years after the return of the musical landscape ..." (in Korean). Heraldbiz. 
  47. ^ "A WEREWOLF PROBLEM IN CENTRAL RUSSIA and Other Stories Review". Kirkus Reviews. May 20, 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 

External links[edit]