By Joseph Leray

According to an IGN interiew with Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat, the “Prince of Persia” series is being “paused,” for the time being.

“Brand management is a tricky thing,” he said, explaining that some games can be put on hold and then “suddenly [pop] up because a team is willing to do it.”

“We sometimes iterate on franchises and sometimes we give them time to breathe and time to grow, or time to rest,” he elaborated. “‘Prince of Persia’ is as important as any other franchise for Ubisoft.”

The Montreal-based studio brought “Prince of Persia” back to the forefront of the games industry with the “Sands of Time” trilogy during the mid-2000s, after letting Jordan Mechner’s original games “rest” for almost a decade. “Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands” was released in 2010 in conjunction with a Jake Gyllenhaal-starring film of the same name, though it technically takes place amidst the events of earlier games.
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This is "Prince of Persia" producer Ben Mattes defending the controversial no-death difficulty mechanic in his game at a small Ubisoft gathering of press and developers last night. Instead of the player dying after a failed jump in Mattes' game, they would be rescued by a partner character Elika and placed on the last flat piece of land they had touched:

"I guess I made the mistake of projecting my own attitudes... I believed that, as a consumer base, the gaming industry had evolved to the point where they were punishing themselves for their failures... The idea with the Elika mechanic was [that] if you were a really good player, a single fall -- when she had to pull you up -- would be devastating thing because it ruined your perfect run."

But people complained. So his lesson learned is: "We can't continue to punish players for not being super leet haxxors but we have to do enough of that so that the guys on NeoGAF [hardcore message board gamers] won't sell the game back."

'Prince of Persia Epilogue'

For those who wanted a tougher "Prince of Persia," your wish has been granted. Read More...

Ubisoft today released the first trailer for "Prince of Persia Epilogue," downloadable content coming February 26 that continues the story of their latest platformer, and being big fans of "Prince of Persia," we took notes and screen captures about what the trailer showed us. Here's what we found... Read More...

Outside of blurry cell phone photos, we know little about the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced "Prince of Persia" film, but our colleagues at the MTV Movies blog discovered the first "Prince of Persia" poster was secretly smuggled into another Bruckheimer production, "Confessions of a Shopaholic."

I might regret writing that headline, but it's true: I've moved my desk out of a makeshift closet-turned-office and into my somewhat cramped living room. That, and I'm trying to reconcile my feelings towards "Prince of Persia"'s end game.

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'Prince of Persia'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. Read More...

This is the last Diary entry from me for 2008. Thanks to everyone who kept with it and helped it evolve into what I think is a fun conversation-starter each day.

Fittingly, my 2008 Diary ends with an entry on the bravura ending of the last game I'll finish this year: "Prince of Persia."

This entry was written due to popular request. But do not read further if you don't want the ending spoiled. I won't be holding back: Read More...


Homage? Inspiration? Or a case of Grand Theft 'Shadow'?

Before I played Ubisoft Montreal's magnificent new "Prince of Persia," I saw that comparisons were being drawn between it and Sony's cult favorite PS2 game "Ico." Both games are platformers the present a hero who is accompanied and assisted by a lovely woman. In both games, the mechanic of holding hands in fundamental.

But if you thought the "Prince of Persia" team drew a lot of inspiration from "Ico," then wait until you see how much they drew from the other celebrated game made by Fumito Ueda's team at Sony, "Shadow of the Colossus."

Without going into spoilers, let's look at some striking similarities: Read More...

Dying in video games, like in real life, seems to be a natural part of the process. You play, therefore you die -- and you usually have to start over.

But does it have to be that way?

Not necessarily. I recently spoke to three developers who've all been making dying in games a little less painful. They explained to me why they're saying no to "game over" screens in their games and what they tell critics who claim they're making video games too easy.

So here's what the makers of "Mushroom Men," "LEGO Batman," and "Prince of Persia" had to say...

[Image: Michael Talbot]

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