After announcing, delaying, and switching studios for the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake, Ubisoft now says the project is "very much alive" but is back "in the conception phase."
The publisher revealed the news in a blog post and FAQ today, and confirmed that the game will not be appearing at the upcoming Ubisoft Forward event as part of the (what would have been) E3 2023 schedule. There is no new release date, there are no plans to remake other Prince of Persia games, and developer Ubisoft Montreal is currently "building up the team, defining priorities, developing prototypes and testing gameplay elements."
Game director Michael McIntyre says that the remake will have "some degree of refinement in every aspect. The movement is a big one for us, but combat will get a similar treatment, because of how movement is evolving." He adds that "the story will remain true to itself," but you can expect some improvements to how it's delivered given the past 20 years worth of improvements to cinematic storytelling in games.
There's a bit more in the blog link above, but you shouldn't hold your breath for more substantial information on the project anytime soon. Producer Jean-Francois Naud says "players should not expect to hear more about the game this year."
The Sands of Time remake was first announced back in 2020, and while fans were happy to see the series make any kind of comeback, the graphics in that initial reveal did not impress. The game was initially set to launch in January 2021, but was delayed to March 2021, and then delayed again - this time indefinitely. The publisher announced in May 2022 that the project had moved from studios in Pune and Mumbai to be led by Ubisoft Montreal.
The original Sands of Time, released in 2003 across PS2, GameCube, Xbox, and PC, was itself a bit of a remake - or more properly, a reimagining of Jordan Mechner's classic platformer series. These days, Sands of Time might just be more beloved than the games it followed up on, and while its numerous sequels are generally well-liked, this particular title is arguably the peak of the series.
Today's PlayStation Showcase will surely offer some other games for you to focus your attention on.