OK, so with the Android version out of the way, Ubisoft can now focus on porting the game to PC, right??? I'll be waiting anyway.
Well Ubisoft still treats the PC platform as an afterthought so a PoP Classic PC port still seems a bit unreal. From recent examples it seems that Ubi's PC department is completely incompetent. Just a few things:
1.) I am a die-hard Heroes of Might and Magic fan which of course is a long running turn based strategy game for PC. The whole Might & Magic franchise was bought by Ubisoft back in the day. Heroes V was developed by Nival Interactive, a Russian developer (Ubi hired them for the job) and it was a fantastic and highly successfull PC game. Ubi also hired Arkane Studios (the guys behind Dishonored) to develop Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, an FPS-RPG hybrid that was also well received.
And then the problems started. Nival couldn't do Heroes VI so Ubisoft hired a new, Hungarian development team called Black Hole Entertainment. Black Hole was the developer of great strategy games like Armies of Exigo and the Warhammer: Mark of Chaos series so we're talking about a highly competent development studio that could have created a wonderful sixth installment to the series. However Ubisoft maintained too strong control over the development and set deadlines that were impossible to achieve which resulted in Heroes VI hitting shelves in an unfinshed form: it was full of bugs and some key features were missing that made the previous installments so unique. Not only this but they made a contract with Black Hole that basically eradicated any chance of them receiving royalty soon after release. This resulted in Black Hole becoming bankrupt and that led to the sorry state where they became unable to support the game further, e.g. they couldn't develop patches / finish the game.
Ubisoft had to hire a new company to finish the game instead of Black Hole, so came Limbic Entertainment, a little known German development studio. They are patching the game up but of course they know nothing about developing an AAA TBS game so they are totally incompetent. The game was released one year ago and I still don't dare buying it but of course Ubi ordered Limbic to develop DLCs for Heroes VI, DLC to an unfinished, unbalanced catastrophe. They are killing off the HoMM franchise and doesn't seem to care or just too incompetent to be able to do anything about it. The thing is that Might & Magic could be a really strong franchise like Civilization (or even the Elder Scrolls if they'd return to the RPG roots) if Ubisoft could assemble an inside team dedicated to Heroes instead of hiring and bankrupting other studios.
2.) Ubi just can't develop a competent digital download service. For example if you buy Assassin's Creed 2 on Steam you can upgrade your Standard Edition to the Deluxe Edition which includes extra maps for AC2. You can't do the same on Uplay if you bought the retail version. I'm a fan of AC2 and I bought AC2 retail on the day it was released and I would gladly spend 5 bucks to have those little extra maps, yet I can't do that. Solution: buy Ubi games on Steam 1-2 years after the release date on a summer sale and play the complete versions.
3.) Lack of proper PC support and PC ports that are not of high quality. PoP: Forgotten Sands has some PC specific bugs, yet Ubi never released a patch to address those issues. Assassin's Creed 2 and Assassin's Creed Bortherhood has horrible mouse controls: those things are not that hard to fix, yet they never were. And here we are again, Ubi just stated that the PC controls for AC3 won't be too good so their advice is to use a gamepad. The truth is that AC games would be perfectly controllable using a mouse and keyboard if the camera controls were not bad. It's really that simple (somehow AC: Revelations got it right and I never missed a jump using those "horrible" mouse and keyboard controls).
I played it a few weeks ago on my iPhone, it was great and the graphics were amazing, it felt like playing the old one only HD which is awesome for me I would buy it for PC with HD graphics, if they put in a S&F remake too I'm totally sold
It's been more than 2 years since I opened this topic. Things did not really change but one thing is for certain: the legacy titles of the PoP series have serious issues on the PC platform these days.
- the original DOS version of Prince of Persia 1 runs on DOSBox but it has some screen tearing and speed issues here and there so it's far from ideal
- Prince of persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame sadly has the same issues, it's even a bit worse
- Prince of Persia 3D has serious slowdown issues on 64 bit operating systems, these make the game barely playable
So things don't look too good. On the other hand the 2D platformer genre is living it's reneissance on PC: there were a number of highly successfull indie titles in the last couple of years and it seems like Ubisoft is also starting to realize that there is a market for these kind of games on the platform. Last year they released Rayman Origins to a great success and now the classic Amiga / DOS title Flashback is getting a remake and a PC port is coming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsL1E4zSNrA
But the question remains: what happens to Prince of Persia? The original 3 games are not available for purchase in digital format on Steam or GOG. A PoP Classic release would be more than welcome these days but it would also be nice to see the originals getting a re-release, optimized for modern system. As I've already written in the topic for the Shadow and the Flame remake these are the games I'd buy happily:
- A native Windows/ native modern Mac port of the Mac version of the original Prince of Persia (the DOS one is pretty obsolete by today's standards) with Xbox 360 controller support. So this game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYOjUX4Eagw
- A native Windows / native modern Mac port of the Mac version of Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame (again, DOS version is way behind in graphics quality) with Xbox 360 controller support. This is the game I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-9zhigqwv4
Are these things hard to develop? No. Do developing these games cost a lot of money? No. Would people buy these games? Re-releases of classic games generally sell good on PC/Mac, so the answer is yes of course.
As there seems to be no new games scheduled to release in the near future the time would be right to do something with the old titles. Easy money for Ubi and it could also serve as a great way to keep the PoP series in people's perspective.