When French publisher Ubisoft, best known for his hit gaming franchises such as ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and ‘Far Cry,’ wanted to reinvent “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” he chose his studios in Pune and Mumbai to oversee a remake production. This is the first time Ubisoft’s stature multinational video game developer has focused on the skills of India’s in-house developers to thoroughly create a AAA product, although a remake, from the ground up.
“What we want to prove is that there is greater influence from India and our goal has always been to prove that we can build up together through good game development skills and expertise,” Jean-Philippe Pieuchot, managing director of Ubisoft India Studios, told indianexpress.com in an interview.
The announcement of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Reboot” could increase India’s presence on the global video games market – not as a profitable market for selling consoles and Computer games but in the area of producing high-profile titles aimed at the Western market.
Pieuchot claims the game shows what the Indian talent is up to in the market for video game development. “We need to make sure that people realize that not only with us but with so many other businesses, they will develop their careers in our business. We invite everyone.’
“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” was originally launched in 2003, and remains one of Ubisoft’s most popular games. The remake, which is developed in Pune and Mumbai by Ubisoft’s studios, has the same plot as the classic action-adventure game of 2003 but the remastered version has revised graphics, better camera angles, and gameplay mechanics.American actor Yuri Lowenthal, who in the original game of 2003 was the Prince’s voice actor, has revived his role in the remake. The last game of The Prince of Persia was The Lost Sands which came out in 2010.
“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake” is a very significant achievement for the studio here, since we finally own the project … and we can really tweak the concept and put into the game what was in our heads, “said Pierre-Sylvain Gires, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake game designer. He added: “The studio has been demonstrating year after year that we can take more and more responsibilities. On big games like Far Cry and Just Dance we began with Quality Control ( QC), then development, and codec. I think it’s just the tradition that Indian studios start making their own games in Pune and Mumbai.’
“We had to develop the game from scratch,” said Annu Koul, senior producer for the remake with Ubisoft Pune, the studio responsible. “We went to Montreal [Ubisoft Montreal was in possession of the original title for 2003], took all the tapes back here, and then we had them digitized.”
Koul and his colleagues realized from the start that the remake of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” would not be an easy mission. “As far as designing the game is concerned, there was one thin line we must keep in mind that is, we must make this game a nostalgia because there are a lot of fans who want this back. There are a lot of players who have played this game before. And we have to consider that. But at the same time, we’ve got to have this game for the young players who didn’t have the ability to play back then.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will debut on PlayStation 4, Windows Xp and Xbox One in January 2021. It’ll also be compatible for backward compatibility on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. A Nintendo Switch version will sadly not be available at sale.