Barely days after a fake Prince of Persia 6 website domain came and went, gameplay for a previously unseen cancelled Prince of Persia sequel has been discovered on YouTube. Where it’s apparently been quietly sitting, minding its business for the last eight years.
It’s not exactly clear how the gameplay went unseen for so long, but it’s possible that it was unlisted or private for a while. Ubisoft did notice to some degree two years ago when assistant technical director Marc-Andre Belleau commented “Where did you get that?!” but somehow it just didn’t go any further. Check it out:
As you can see Prince of Persia: Redemption absolutely reeks of Uncharted and old school God of War 3 era influences, and seems a part way mashup between Sands of Time’s time travelling puzzles and combat, and 2008’s Prince of Persia ‘dude where’s my palace?’ reboot.
Evidence this canned sequel exists has actually been seen before with 3D Level Artist Christophe Prélot (opens in new tab) listing a ‘Prince of Persia Untitled Canceled’ for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in 2010. His work on that lasted a year and “generated an entire level of a Persia city in destruction with scripted events”. That description definitely matches up with the gameplay here.
Fortunately, to help clear things up, ex-Naughty Dog and former Assassin's Creed animator Jonathan Cooper has straight up confirmed the game as “target game footage”, making it this footage a pitch rather than an actual game:
Wow - haven't seen this in ages. Amazing work from animation director Khai Nguyen (For Honor) and team. This target game footage (pre-rendered game pitch) inspired our own pitch for Assassin's Creed 3 as they did such a great job making it look like real gameplay. https://t.co/U9cy7v4fNpMay 6, 2020
Judging by the length of time it was worked on it looks this take was never picked up and interestingly Cooper adds “sadly Ubisoft are generally quicker to cancel Prince of Persia games than other IPs because original creator Jordan Mechner still holds license rights so the profit margins are lower.” That might explain why we’ve not seen or heard from the Prince in quite some time.
While there’s little pointing to a new Prince of Persia game anytime soon, the Xbox 20/20 events, starting Thursday, 7 May, from 9AM PST / 12PM EST / 4PM BST, might reveal something. You never know.