Six months after rebooting Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, Ubisoft says it’s coming along nicely: ‘The project has passed an important internal milestone’

Is the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake a new Skull and Bones? I’m starting to think it might be. After multiple delays, a complete reboot, and a warning to fans not to expect to hear more about the game in 2023, Ubisoft has dropped a brief message reassuring everyone that it’s coming along nicely, and we’ll be hearing more about it at some undefined point in the future.

Look, I get it, making games isn’t easy—if it was, I’d be doing it. But even so, the Sands of Time remake seems to be a surprisingly tough struggle for Ubisoft. A planned release in early 2021 got bumped, and then bumped again, and then pretty much fell off the radar completely until a speculative 2023 launch came and then went

Amidst all that, work was moved to a completely different studio, and then the whole thing was scrapped and started over. It’s been quite a journey, and at this point nobody knows when the remake might see the light of day.

In an update posted to mark the 20th anniversary of the original Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Ubisoft contradicted its earlier caution about radio silence in 2023 to say that things are coming along nicely.

“As you know, the passionate team at UbisoftMTL is reimagining this legendary story, and we are glad to announce today that the project has passed an important internal milestone and development is progressing,” it tweeted. “We look forward to sharing more in the future!”

(Image credit: Ubisoft (Twitter))

It’s not much to go on, but the “it’s still happening” message does have a familiar ring: Ubisoft has previously said, more than once, that it’s “happy” with the progress developers have made on Skull and Bones, a high-seas piracy game that it also hasn’t been able to get out the door despite years of effort and the fact that the game’s foundations were already in place—Skull and Bones is a spinoff of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.

I don’t mean that to come off in any way as gleeful, but this is a real issue for Ubisoft. It’s been more than a year since we last heard anything about the Splinter Cell remake that was announced in 2021, and Beyond Good and Evil 2 has been trapped in the vortex of development hell for so long we actually made a guide to the number of times Ubisoft has promised that it’s still in development. (For the record, that would be 29 times as of January 2023.)

Part of me is glad that Ubisoft isn’t just letting these things go—they’re great games, and they deserve another shot at the limelight, properly gussied up for modern machines. But if it’s really this hard to make it happen, I can’t stop thinking that maybe it should pull the plug and move on: Come up with some new, fresh ideas, and put those resources to work making them happen, without all the baggage of the past, or whatever it is that’s holding these projects back.

That’s a conversation for later, though. For now, the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake is still happening, and someday, we might actually get to play it. But probably not anytime soon.

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