Rumour: First screenshot of new Prince of Persia

August 6, 2012

Before we show the goods, here’s a little back story. Depending on who you listen to (mostly the regulars on NeoGAF), rumour has it that Ubisoft is keen to bring the Prince of Persia franchise back in one way or another. So much so, that a prototype build of the next major Prince of Persia game was shown behind closed doors at E3 2012 to a very select lucky few.

The curious case of the new Prince of Persia can be found in the speculated development history. Piecing together the bits and pieces, it is suspected that Ubisoft began work on two Prince of Persia projects a few years ago. The first was successor to the 2008 re-imagining of Prince of Persia, and the second being Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, aimed at cashing in on the film adaptation buzz. In addition to this, Ubisoft was hard at work on a new IP (not unlike Watch Dogs) inspired by the likes of God of War and Shadow of the Colossus. And that new IP was set in Egypt.

Apparently, the 2008 Prince of Persia sequel was cancelled, with numerous assets recycled for use in the Wii version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, which was entirely separate in design to the 36o/PS3/PC build. Alongside this, a third Prince of Persia game was also cancelled. This game was rumoured to be a reboot of the entire series, codenamed Prince of Persia: Zero and set in a modern era. What happened to these assets, if true and however many there were, is unknown, though they may have made their way across to Watch Dogs.

So where are we now? Well, the rumour mill suggests Ubisoft is still intent on bringing Prince of Persia back. And that game we mentioned, the God of War / Shadow of the Colossus hybrid is just that, now internally known as Prince of Persia: Zero 2 (relax, it’s a code name). The first screenshot of such a game popped up on the Ubisoft forums. Check it out below.

Games starting as one property and evolving into something else entirely isn’t unusual. Assassin’s Creed originally started as a revival of Prince of Persia, eventually becoming its own franchise. And early intentions from EA to create System Shock 3 ended up as Dead Space. The soon to be released Sleeping Dogs started as Black Lotus, then True Crime: Hong Kong, and finally to what we’ll know it as. Though this game may have started off as an entirely separate project, Ubisoft’s perceived value in the Prince of Persia brand may indicate an attempt to revive the series with a new design.

Whether or not this game is targeting current or next generation platforms remains to been. However, given the expectation that Microsoft and/or Sony’s new platforms could launch late next year, we’re guessing whatever it is will at the very least see a cross generation release.