Many of you may not remember, but there was a time when Prince of Persia actually included something called “combat.” In 2003’s The Sands of Time, the Prince’s second reimagining was heralded by critics as a revolution, heavily praising its “intuitive controls”, its “immersive narrative” and many other terms largely responsible for the public’s disinterest.
Ironically, PoP’s intention of kickstarting a new series was put in the exact same release window as a billion other games in the later phases of just that. Sands of Time is a fantastic game, but it took a royal sense of entitlement to cling to a street date that, within the span of a month, also included Jak and Daxter 2, Ratchet and Clank 2, Final Fantasty X-2, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Tony Hawk 5, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, SOCOM 2, SSX 3, Viewtiful Joe, Call of Duty AND…
That’s right, Ubisoft didn’t just stack Prince of Persia against a torrent of Triple-A updates… it forced it to compete against another of its own untested properties, Beyond Good & Evil. We can only assume the stellar review scores had gone to Ubi’s head, because unless half the US population won the lottery over night, there’s no reason to release two full priced games geared to the same audience, within five days of one another.
This charming tale of photography and piggy fart boots suffered the same fate as Prince of Persia. Shortly into the New Year, criminally poor timing had forced both games into the $20 bracket. And for a brief time, both could be purchased new together in an affordable bundle of apologetic desperation.
Persia eventually found its legs, but BG&E kept the indignity going. It would take five years before the announcement of the sequel Jade and Co. so richly deserved. Even worse, very recently they were actually giving the game away inside packs of refrigerated string cheese like a goddamned decoder ring.
Above: Photo from Giant Bomb
Mar 18, 2009
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