Unveiling Time’s Secrets: Ubisoft Toronto’s Role in Renewing a Classic

The idea of remaking a beloved old game can be as daunting as it is exhilarating. Having spent years servicing the vibrant, ever-evolving world of video games, Ubisoft Toronto arrived at Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake head-on, working alongside Ubisoft Montreal, in order to apply all that we’d learned to the challenge of bringing this beloved classic back to life.

The Powerhouse Studios Behind the Remake

UBISOFT MONTREAL: The Origin Story Continues

Ubisoft Montreal, where the original Sands of Time trilogy was conceived, seemed not only a fitting place to facilitate the development of the remake, but also to lead it. The studio’s portfolio includes the highly successful Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six series, and the globally popular Assassin’s Creed games, testifying to its expertise in worldbuilding and storytelling. For many, the shift of the project’s management from Ubisoft’s Pune and Mumbai studios to Montreal appeared like a kind of homecoming, or the resumption of ‘work achieved’ by the Indian subsidiaries of the company.

UBISOFT TORONTO Steps into the Sands

Sands of Time developer Ubisoft Montreal is collaborating with Ubisoft Toronto, the studio that made Far Cry 5 and 6, Watch Dogs: Legion and the forthcoming Splinter Cell remake, on a reimagining of one of the most beloved games in its back catalogue. Known for creativity, technical excellence and left-field thinking, Ubisoft Toronto’s involvement in Sands of Time should add freshness to the iteration process while preserving the game’s all-important blueprint.

A New Chapter in the Sands of Time

Since India was essentially robbed of its cultural heritage, part of a project of decolonisation is the recapturing of that heritage – the reconstruction of that which was lost. The collaboration between Ubisoft Toronto and Montreal represents a combination of vision and heritage. The studios want to bring the Sands of Time Remake up to date – to give it the innovations in gameplay, story and mechanic, that only a combination of the two can deliver. They want to give fans of the original what they enjoy while providing something for newcomers.

Reimagining a Classic for the Modern Era

Paving the way for today’s super reverent remakes, the development teams that tackled the work of remaking The Sands of Time needed to walk a fine line between respecting the original and reinventing it. This includes adapting gameplay and presentation to modern players’ expectations without sacrificing nostalgia, as well as reinterpreting the game’s narrative and design philosophies for use with modern players. By being both familiar and unique – a time-bending game in its own right that respects its origins – the remake has the boldness to stand on its own for a new generation as it retreads the footsteps that players loved before.

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Expectations

Despite the hype surrounding the remake, the project hasn’t always been a smooth one. Announced with a target January 2021 release date, the game has seen significant developmental downturns, including the shift of lead development from the Ubisoft outposts in India to Montreal. The remake also hasn’t seen a new release date since that ill-fated announcement in May. Like any of the Prince of Persia games before it, the waiting here is killing us.

Community Engagement and Feedback

With fan expectations as a primary part of the picture, Ubisoft has been honest about listening to community feedback regarding the game. ‘There has been this conceptual phase of our development, and the studio wants to find the journey to explore how the game that we want to deliver and the one that we think is a good remake of The Sands of Time,’ says the game’s producer Jean-Francois Naud, who has emphasised the team’s goal to ‘honour the universe’ and the franchise’s existing legacy.

The Role of Studio Collaboration in Reviving Classics

Ubisoft Toronto’s partnership with Ubisoft Montreal has shown how innovative and fruitful it can be to collaborate between studios. By working together in service of A Thousand and One Night, the two studios can take advantage of each other’s strengths, resources and creativity, while also respecting the original game and giving fans something exciting they never expected: a stealth action-adventure game that feels like The Sands of Time while also being a radically new remake.

Studio Synergy in Game Development

If you look at the work between Ubisoft Toronto and Montreal, the objective was to create something together that we couldn’t have done on our own. With this co-development, the obstacles were easier to overcome. We could be more creative because both studios had different cultural backgrounds and views, and we ended up delivering a product that was much greater than the sum of its parts. At its best, collaboration can foster a culture of progress together.

About Ubisoft Toronto

Ubisoft Toronto now ranks as one of the gaming industry’s leading studios. Having shipped successful, critically acclaimed and high-quality games in Far Cry 5 and 6, and Watch Dogs: Legion, to name just a few titles, Ubisoft Toronto has talent, experience and creative vision to spare. As it enters the mix to develop what’s sure to be a highly anticipated ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake’ alongside Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Toronto remains committed to creating rich, challenging and reimagined gameplay experiences by blending best-in-class technology, storytelling and game design.

Jun 06, 2024
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