In response to posts here at Multiplayer, "Prince of Persia" producer Ben Mattes has explained just what his team was trying to borrow from "Shadow of the Colossus" -- and provides a spoiler-free justification for the game's controversial ending.
Look what I found during my holiday break: one of the more informative post-mortem blog posts written by a developer of a major 2008 game, (and one of the nicest posts ever written about me) on the blog of "Prince of Persia' producer Ben Mattes, who was following coverage of the game on Multiplayer.
Here's Mattes talking in spoiler-free terms about my spoiler-filled interpretation of the game's ending, an ending that some complained didn't give them forked-path options they wanted:
There were few elements of the game that were as fixed in our mind from day 1 on POP as the ending. It was literally one of the very first things we knew we wanted to do with the game, and stayed 100% fixed in our mind throughout development, despite its rather unorthodox nature. Last week, in fact, I met with JC (the game's creative director) for a coffee and asked him if he was monitoring the boards - he said he was with the single-minded intention of seeing if people 'got' the ending. Stephen most certainly did.
Some people have asked why we didn't give the player a 'real' choice as to how the game should end (other then just turning off the console, that is - something we predicted during development that 5% of the players would do). The easiest and simplest answer to this is because of the 'Warrior Within' issue. On WW, there were two endings. One 'normal' one and a second 'special' ending. When we started work on The Two Thrones, we needed to decide which ending to support as the official ending. It wasn't easy, and a lot of fans were upset at our decision because the ending we started from was not the one they saw - the continuity was lost.
There's a little more about this in his post.
And here's him responding to another of my "Prince of Persia" posts, the one that kicked up a stir about the similarities between Mattes' game and PlayStation 2's "Shadow of the Colossus":
Finally, on the off chance that Stephen reads this - SoTC was a big inspiration for us, but mostly with the intention of making the boss battles epic and emotional - something they succeeded in masterfully and that we only touched the surface of (in terms of emotional connection on the part of the player). Many of the similarities you pointed out are coincidental, but I certainly don't mind the comparison. We've always been very open about the huge influences that Ico, SoTC and Okami had on us during our development.
In the not-so-off-chance Ben reads this... Ben, some of us reporters keep a Google Alert running on our names (Really, it's just so I can get more ideas for posts; nothing to do with ego at all. Surely!). So as long as anyone spells my name right, I will find out what they're saying about me. Thanks for reading, and glad you like our blog.
Read the rest of Mattes' thoughts - and snoop around to check out some other informative posts about the game over at his blog, Too Much Imagination.